Charles Leclerc breaks silence after Lewis Hamilton news as star hails 'special' Carlos Sainz relationship

Charles Leclerc breaks silence after Lewis Hamilton news as star hails 'special' Carlos Sainz relationship

WATCH NOW: Lewis Hamilton interview before it was announced he would join Ferrari

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 08/02/2024

- 20:24

Updated: 08/02/2024

- 20:25

Leclerc and Sainz will team up for a final time at Ferrari in 2024

Charles Leclerc has spoken publicly for the first time since it was announced that Lewis Hamilton will be his new team-mate from next year.

Leclerc has hailed the 'special relationship' he has with his current colleague Carlos Sainz as he prepares for the new season.

It was confirmed last week that Hamilton will leave Mercedes at the end of the 2024 campaign and replace Sainz at Ferrari.

It will bring an end to a 12-year spell at Mercedes for the seven-time world champion, who is cutting short the contract he signed last August.

Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton

Charles Leclerc has spoken for the first time since Lewis Hamilton was confirmed to be joining Ferrari


Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claimed this week that Leclerc had been left 'shocked' and 'disappointed' by the development.

He has now spoken to the media for the first time since but has not discussed the arrival of Hamilton.

Leclerc instead outlined how his aim in 2024 is to win a maiden world title.

As quoted by the Daily Mail, Leclerc said: "To win the championship, this is the only target I have. I'm only happy when I win, second place is not my target.

"You need to give yourself realistic targets as well, as much as we are always optimistic and try to do the best job possible.

"We all want to win but looking at where we are starting from from last year, Red Bull had a big advantage. So now we need to close the gap as much as possible.

"So we will do absolutely everything to try and, and do the step that, that is our goal in order to challenge."

Leclerc and Sainz have been team-mates at Ferrari since the start of the 2021 season.

The Monegasque driver says he has built up a great friendship with Sainz.

Leclerc added: "We have a very special relationship. I mean, we are obviously friends outside the track as well. We are sharing good moments.

"We spend so much time. I mean, I see Carlos more than my own family because we've got 24 races now."

Ferrari will unveil their new car for the 2024 season next Tuesday.


Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have formed a strong friendship at Ferrari


And Leclerc is looking forward to seeing it in its full glory as he attempts to chase down Red Bull this year.

"I'm just super excited because there's so much work going on at the moment," he said.

"As I was saying, we started to develop the new car many months ago already, virtually first on the simulator in Maranello, then we see the first part physical parts.

"I saw the car yesterday, not fully painted yet, but the first model of it.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc

Lewis Hamilton will be Charles Leclerc's team-mate at Ferrari from 2025


"So already there you start to get excited and then we get to drive the car for the first time around the launch, which will be next week, which again, I'm really looking forward to.

"There are lots of question marks. Of course, we have driven the car but then all the remains to be seen in reality, whether everything fits what we've felt in the virtual world and the simulator, which normally does when everything goes well.

"From now on, I'm just really excited to be next week and to be trying the car more."

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