April 24, 2024

Alain Prost delivers Ferrari’s ‘clear number one’ driver caution ahead of the Lewis Hamilton era.

Although Alain Prost believes “on paper” Ferrari would not reveal their number one driver, if they want to compete for the 2025 title, they must select between Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton.

This will be Leclerc’s final season with Carlos Sainz as a teammate, after Ferrari passed him over for Hamilton.

Alain Prost: There’s a lot of politics going on

The Scuderia has already revealed a new line-up for 2025, with Leclerc and Hamilton as the two drivers. However, this means one more season of Leclerc vs Sainz.

And it’s already proven to be a hot one.

Sainz passed Leclerc twice on the track at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, joining his Red Bull team-mates on the podium ahead of his teammate.

It’s already a challenging situation for the Scuderia to manage, made even more difficult by the fact that they are Ferrari.

“Especially at Ferrari, you really need a first driver, because you have to deal with more pressure,” Prost told Servus TV, according to grandpx.news.

“There is a lot of politics going on that you may not be aware of or comprehend.

“When you’re fighting another team, it makes it much easier for a team if you have a clear number 1.”

Prost used his 1986 World Championship win as an example, stating, “I won the title after a battle with Nigel [Mansell] and Nelson [Piquet]. They were [Williams’] teammates, yet they never received team orders. I definitely took advantage of that.”

Ferrari will need a No.1 when Hamilton arrives

Lewis Hamilton will make shock move from Mercedes to Ferrari - BBC Sport

 

But, while he admits that having a number one isn’t something Ferrari needs this season, especially after Max Verstappen’s spectacular victory in Bahrain, having one is crucial if and when they compete for the World Championship.

And it might be crucial next season, when Leclerc teams up with seven-time World Champion Hamilton.

Hamilton will partner Leclerc next season after shockingly deciding to quit Mercedes after his 12th season with the team to join Ferrari.

He has signed a multi-year contract with the Scuderia, resulting in what is considered to be the most exciting team-mate battle of 2025.

“When you don’t have the chance to win the title, maybe you don’t need a first driver,” Prost said.

“If you have a chance to win the title, we’ll see what happens next year with Lewis and Charles.”

“That will be extremely intriguing. It will be extremely difficult for management, but on paper, there will be no first driver, which is beneficial to the sport.”

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