“Leclerc is aiming for the World Cup. What I expect from Hamilton at Ferrari”

Capelli, should we still expect Verstappen to be the absolute protagonist?
“Let’s take it slow, we still have to get started. Max He is the perfect driver Adrian Newey (Red Bull technical director, ed.) wants to work on his car. The model driver, prototype of the modern era of Formula 1. Verstappen raised the bar for the physical and mental preparation of drivers, a process started by Senna and then continued by Schumacher.

“However, 24 races is a lot and it will be difficult to complete them all until the end, even if the Dutchman already showed last year that he knows how to do it and almost never makes mistakes. Max is someone who can’t make it. I don’t think he’s someone who can get lost because he doesn’t get distracted by what’s around him. But from here to saying he has already won, we should be careful.”

In testing over the last few days, Ferrari has shown that it has improved. But has it closed the gap with Red Bull?
“Some problems from the past appear to have been resolved. Aside from the fastest lap, which was already good in 2023, there is now consistency in race pace, which was missing. Ferrari came closer to the goal than others.” Red Bullwhich remains the main candidate for victory, but in Maranello they took a decisive step forward.”

So can Cavallino fans aspire to more than just success like the last World Cup?
“Ferrari can win more, yes, but the main goal is that they strive for it.” VasseurThe answer to reverse the trend is to have a car that can evolve and improve in the middle of the season, because these cars will continue to exist next year, so Ferrari needs to achieve this development. If he succeeded, the job would be half done as we would no longer be able to witness the story of the final seasons and the work would be paused to focus on the next year.

Verstappen is the perfect driver. So does Leclerc have to make a leap in quality to counter him?
“Charles needs to improve a lot in how he handles the season, an issue he himself has highlighted on several occasions. It’s not easy to keep the bar straight for nine months and 24 Grands Prix, considering all the commitments you have, on the track but also in the media”.

Leclerc He is intelligent and can grow, he knows first of all how much this year 2024 is an opportunity for him: today it seems impossible, but he must have the goal of winning the World Cup because in this way he would be welcomed in a year Hamilton on the team at a different weight and wouldn’t immediately be overshadowed by Lewis.

On a related note, what do you expect from Hamilton?
“First of all, if I were there Mercedes I would forbid him from taking his cell phone in the pits… All joking aside, Hamilton is a great professional. At Mercedes he found his balance, his comfort zone and won seven world championships. But over the years, and he has said this several times, he has understood what Ferrari stands for and what it means to wear red. He will have new mental energy, he will arrive at Ferrari fully loaded, not to spend the winter.”

Gigi Marzullo would ask you: Will Ferrari win more with Hamilton or Lewis with the Reds?
“Hamilton was able to bring in not only his great experience, but also a lot of calm from the perspective of machine analysis and work strategy. Great champions also bring with them the attention of other personalities, such as engineers.”

“Maybe there might be some people who, until some time ago, thought there couldn’t be one changeInstead, Lewis will be the first change. Who knows, it could open the doors to foreign engineers, perhaps English ones whose last name starts with N, and we’ll see…”

The reference apparently refers to Adrian Newey, the secret of Red Bull. Did his decision to revolutionize the car in 2024 surprise you?
“Yes, because usually the “team that wins” doesn’t change. Instead, they had the courage to take a successful car and turn it on its head. A few days ago I saw a cartoon where Adrian finds himself in front of the Mercedes from two seasons ago, he looks at it and says: “Well, now I understand it and I’ll fix it.” And he builds the victorious Red Bull. He’s able to have these ideas, he has thehumility to understand whether others have done a better job than him, to take the lessons and make them his own and improve on them.”

Hamilton joins Sainz: what to expect from the Spaniard?
“What he is experiencing and will experience is not nice, I went through it too. Knowing you’re part of a team but already out for next year isn’t the best. You approach it with a different mind, because you know that won’t happen continuity. However, Sainz is linked to Ferrari and I expect him to prove with important performances that he is a top driver and attract the attention of other teams.”

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