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Carlos Sainz

Sainz adamant Verstappen will make the same mistake as Leclerc

Carlos Sainz has defended teammate Charles Leclerc after his race-ending crash from the lead of the French GP.

Leclerc France
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To news overview © XPB Images

Carlos Sainz has defended Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc after his crash at the French GP, and believes championship rival Max Verstappen will 'do the same eventually'.

Red Bull's Verstappen took victory at the French GP after profiting from Leclerc's costly race-ending crash.

Leclerc was furious with himself after the race, took full responsibility for the crash and described his own errors as "unacceptable".

Leclerc's Ferrari teammate Sainz, who finished the race in fifth place, was sympathetic about the crash and believed the intensity of the championship will likely catch all drivers out at some point.

"It's a tricky corner. We've been very fast as a team all weekend in that corner, it's where we've been very strong," Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think at the front this year, we're pushing flat out, and we're not leaving anything on the table, and mistakes like this can happen because we are really pushing flat out at the front.

"It's crazy the risks that we're taking how much we're pushing, and I've done a mistake in a race before.

"Charles has done one today, Max will do one eventually, so it can happen."

Sainz searching for answers after pit stop debate

Carlos Sainz was involved in his own race dramas, appearing to be caught up in Ferrari's indecision on pit strategy.

With the Ferrari driver running in fourth and appearing to believe he would be stuck behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez, he suggested a pit stop to the Ferrari team.

However, by the time Ferrari came back with a decision, Sainz was already battling Perez and eventually moved into third place.

Despite moving into the podium positions, Ferrari opted to pit Sainz anyway, which put him down to ninth place.

He battled back to fifth, but the extra stop raised questions about whether or not Ferrari could have tried to keep Sainz out on track to challenge for a podium.

When asked about the pit stop debates, Sainz believed the radio exchanges were part of the regular in-race conversations, but was still looking answers regarding the strategy.

"With the team, I think we had a typical discussion, you're on a two-stop but suddenly you realise that you are P4 or P3 and trying to make it to end and the team ask 'can you make it to the end?', Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I was the one I told them that I didn't think it was possible, but then I passed Checo, and then I'm in clean air in P3.

"After that, I thought let's try to finish on the podium because I knew that a pit stop was going to cost me 32 seconds.

"In the end, they have more numbers than me, so I followed the instruction of pitting and I'm sure that we will analyse it together, they will explain to me why they took the decision."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Does Leclerc make too many mistakes to become F1 champion?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the French Grand Prix, including Charles Leclerc dramatically spinning out of the lead.

F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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