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Hamilton respected but not feared by Ferrari duo

Hamilton respected but not feared by Ferrari duo

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Hamilton respected but not feared by Ferrari duo

Hamilton respected but not feared by Ferrari duo
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have stated that whilst they have "huge respect" for seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton they do not fear him.

Hamilton has been dominant over the past seven years, missing out on the world title only once - in 2016 to then Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg - and winning a staggering 73 races from the past 138.

The 36-year-old Briton Hamilton is also top of the list when it comes to wins, podiums and pole positions.

From Leclerc's perspective, whilst he admires what Hamilton has achieved, as far as the Monégasque is concerned, once the visor goes down and the lights go out they are all equal.

"To be honest, for me, whenever I put on the helmet, all drivers are the same," said Leclerc.

"In the first few races in Formula 1, when I arrived, it was quite a shock that all the drivers I used to watch, I was then racing them.

"In those first few races I was quite intimidated but you cannot keep going like this, and after a few races you get used to it.

"Now, after every time I fight a driver on track I don't think about what this person has achieved.

"I've huge respect for everyone on the grid, and Lewis has achieved so much in the sport. But whenever I put on the helmet I try to fight him as much as anybody else on the grid."

Sainz, who joined Ferrari from McLaren in the winter, echoed the comments of his new team-mate and added he hopes to get the chance to fight Hamilton in the future.

"When you arrive you feel special, fighting against your heroes and the people you saw on tv," said Sainz.

"By now, after six years, if I see a Mercedes I want to fight that Mercedes, just as much as I want to fight anyone else.

"I don't see Lewis Hamilton in the car, although the respect I have for Lewis is huge and I think as drivers we all have a lot of respect for the guy that's equalled the seven world title record. It's incredible.

"But you never think about who is inside that car. You always try and beat him.

"Unfortunately, recently, I haven't really been fighting Lewis much. He's in such a superior car there hasn't been a lot of fights going on, but in the future, I might get my chance."

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