“I Perceive Him Differently” – Leclerc Weighs in on Lewis Hamilton vs Michael Schumacher Debate

The debate between F1 fans regarding who is the better driver between Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, has raged on for quite a while now. Like most others who prefer to enjoy the action and marvel at the duo’s achievements rather than compare the two, Charles Leclerc believes that his perception of the two drivers is very different.

He said, “I don’t like to compare different eras. You didn’t drive against the same people, the cars are very different.

“They are two fantastic sportsmen who were incredibly successful in F1 and deserve a lot of respect.”

The Monegasque has been on the F1 grid for 3 years now. He has witnessed first-hand the kind of domination Hamilton has achieved over the grid. Heck, Leclerc has even gone head to head with the Mercedes ace during his previous season with Ferrari.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via Reuters/Miguel Medina

As such, the 23-year-old has a different “image” of Hamilton than what he has of Schumacher.

“When I see Lewis on the track, it’s not the same image like I have of Michael Schumacher. Although just like Michael, he will be a legend when he leaves F1 one day.

“When I was little, I always watched Michael Schumacher on television. That’s why I perceive him somewhat differently. I respect Lewis very much. But he is also one of my competitors.”

Charles Leclerc reacts to Lewis Hamilton being presented with Michael Schumacher’s helmet

The Briton’s incredible consistency and hunger for success saw him equal the legendary German’s victory record back at the Eifel GP. At the time, Schumacher’s son, Mick, who himself may well be in F1 next year, presented Lewis with one of his dad’s helmet.

Lewis Hamilton and Schumacher contrast points by Ross Brawn
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with a red helmet after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Reflecting on that touching gesture, Leclerc said, “For me there are two big legends and idols in F1: Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Just to get a helmet from one of them would be incredible.

‘The gesture with Lewis and Mick was definitely moving.”

However, racing for Ferrari, Leclerc has a teammate Sebastian Vettel, who will also go down as one of the best drivers in the sport. Vettel may be having a dismal season this year, but that doesn’t take away how instrumental he was between 2010 to 2013, wrapping up four world titles.

Asked whether he would like to swap helmet’s with Sebastian, Leclerc replied, “I wanted to ask Seb. I haven’t done that yet. (But) I would definitely like it.”

Considering the fact that Vettel is leaving for Aston Martin next year, a helmet from the German would be a nice parting gift to receive.