Hamilton understands Leclerc's difficult Ferrari role

Charles Leclerc is second in command at Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton says he understands how difficult that is.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton sympathises with Charles Leclerc over his role with Ferrari, saying he can see himself in the Scuderia star.

Hamilton is leading the Formula One drivers' championship in the early stage of this season, but Leclerc is also impressing in his first campaign with Ferrari.

The Monegasque driver has suffered for team orders, though, with Sebastian Vettel instructed to pass his stable-mate in recent races.

Such orders have prompted discussion about the treatment of Leclerc, with Hamilton acknowledging that it cannot be easy to accept for a talented driver.

"When I got to Formula One, I wanted to win as soon as possible and beat the champion I was racing against," Hamilton said ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"So it is very similar. I see much of myself in Charles and he is doing a great job so far.

"With really high expectations at a huge team like Ferrari, he is driving so well, and he just has to keep doing what he is doing. It will come to him.

"There have been a couple of scenarios when there are multiple world champions who demand the number one position and so you become a number two. While it is a privileged position, it goes against your core values.

"I understand how Charles feels because, in his heart, he believes he has the potential to be the best and it is almost like having your light dimmed.

"As a racer and as a fierce competitor, you kind of rebel. They say to do one thing but the fighter in you wants to push against it. I experienced that."

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