Herbert explains why Leclerc faces more pressure than Verstappen and Hamilton

In an exclusive interview with Total-Motorsport.com, Johnny Herbert revealed why he thinks Charles Leclerc faces more pressure than Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

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Johnny Herbert feels Charles Leclerc has more pressure on his shoulders than Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, due to being a Ferrari driver in Formula 1.

Leclerc was involved in his first title race in 2022, before mistakes from himself and the team saw their championship hopes quickly fade away in the middle of the season.

The 25-year-old won two of the opening three events, the Bahrain and Australian Grand Prix, but the end of the year saw him vent his anger about some of Ferrari‘s strategy calls.

“There is pressure on Charles,” Herbert exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “With the Tifosi, the Italian media, Ferrari itself. Just being a Ferrari driver brings pressure which I don’t think Max or Lewis have.

Toto [Wolff] and Mercedes, Christian [Horner] and Red Bull try to take that pressure off their drivers to allow them to breathe more easily.

“I think that’s where they have been able to deliver more consistently throughout the season.”

Verstappen has shown his frustration on the camera more than his rivals, with outbursts at the Singapore and Sao Paulo GP when he expressed his disappointment with the team.

Hamilton has also questioned Mercedes at times, but generally keeps his emotions in check when talking to the media post-race, in a similar manner to Leclerc.

Herbert thinks it’s important to be honest as a driver to get the most from the team.

“You have got to work with them [the drivers],” said Herbert. “Max has been very outspoken when the team makes a mistake and that’s part of putting people a little bit on edge.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after winning the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after placing second REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

“When a driver starts to say that, it’s surprising how that does change people’s mentality. That’s actually a strength of Max.

“I think you get the same situation, maybe not as visible, with Lewis. It’s a much calmer, different way of doing it. But behind the scenes, I’m sure he will be putting the pressure on and that is where the whole synergy of a team has to come together.”

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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