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Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari warned of 'personality clash' between Hamilton and Leclerc

Will Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc be able to work with each other at Ferrari next year?

Hamilton Leclerc
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Former F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya has warned of a clash when Lewis Hamilton joins Ferrari next season and partners Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton stunned F1 when it was announced at the start of February he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of this season to join the Scuderia as a replacement for the ousted Carlos Sainz.

The decision was startling as Hamilton only signed a two-year extension to his Mercedes contract last summer and was expected to see out his career with the team.

But the seven-time champion opted to exercise a break clause in that deal, bringing to an end what will be a 12-year association with a team that helped him win six of those titles.

The move will pitch Hamilton alongside Leclerc, whose 2025 campaign will be his seventh season with the team, and who signed a contract extension earlier this year.

Montoya, a seven-time grand prix winner in F1, feels there will be issues between the duo when they become team-mates.

"It will be interesting to see how smooth that goes with Charles and Lewis in the cars, to be honest," said Montoya, speaking to RacingNews365.

"There's going to be a personality clash there. It's going to be fun to watch."

As to which team Sainz will drive for next season, Montoya feels the Spanish driver would be best suited at Red Bull, regardless of whether Max Verstappen leaves or not.

Sainz is currently mulling over a big-money offer from Audi, with the German manufacturer seeking a team-mate for Nico Hulkenberg after recently signing the current Haas driver ahead of its entry into F1 in 2026. Hulkenberg will embed himself into the organisation next year with Stake.

Sainz, though, is biding his time. If given the opportunity, Montoya feels Sainz is best placed to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull.

"I think Carlos right now would be the best choice in my opinion [at Red Bull], especially if there's talk of Max leaving," said Montoya.

"If they're thinking about Max leaving, they need to have an A-plus driver as a back-up. You can't have Checo and Max leave because then you have nothing.

"But right now he (Sainz) is doing the job. He's doing what needs to be done. Could there be better drivers? Probably. But I think in the right situation, Carlos can be really good."

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