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Ferrari

Sainz hits out at Leclerc who complains ‘too many times’

Ferrari team-mates Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc came together in the early stages of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc Sainz race Spain
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has suggested that Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc is guilty of complaining “too many times” after races following their on-track spat at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Early on in the race, the pair made light contact at the first corner as Sainz attempted to overtake Leclerc around the outside.

Sainz took to the escape road and stayed ahead of his team-mate, but ended the race behind Leclerc with polarising strategies enforced at Ferrari.

Leclerc insisted it was critical at the early stage of the race to preserve tyre life and pinned the blame on Sainz for turning into him as they went side-by-side.

“We discussed before the race that it was the part of the race we both had to save the tyres as much as possible,” Leclerc told Sky F1

“We know how important Turn 14 is to do that, so I did. Carlos wasn’t [tyre saving] in the last corner and he took that opportunity to overtake, which is a shame. 

“That put us on the back foot and it damaged my front wing for the rest of the race. It was small damage but everything makes a difference and when you see how close it was with George [Russell] at the end, it’s a shame.”

With Sainz yet to confirm his 2025 team after being dropped by Ferrari in favour of Lewis Hamilton, Leclerc suggested the Spaniard was attempting to impress potential suitors.

“I wouldn’t overreact to the race like this, it’s his home race, it’s a very important moment of his career,” he said. 

“I guess he was super motivated to do something spectacular but I probably wasn’t the right person to do that with. 

“But it’s OK, I think he will see the image and understand I was on the inside and he couldn’t turn in at that point.”

Sainz issues Leclerc response

Sainz took an opposing view to Leclerc and suggested the Monegasque complains too much after grands prix.

While Leclerc claims pre-race discussions involved tyre saving, Sainz asserted they talked about attacking the Mercedes cars in front early on.

“I think too many times he [Leclerc] complains after a race about something,” Sainz said. 

“I was on the attack, we were on the new Soft, Mercedes was on a used Soft. We had to go on the attack in the first laps that we have a new tyre and try to pass them, we said [it] even before the race. 

“I passed Charles, I don’t know if he made a mistake or was just managing a bit too much.”

However, Sainz conceded that his aggressive strategy was less favourable due to having to switch to the Hard compound for the final stint.

“I undercut Lewis, I nearly passed Russell at the pit stops. I think I was trying out there what is required as a driver. 

“He elected to manage more, in the end it kind of paid off because he beat me on a Soft-Medium-Soft [strategy]. 

“For me, I elected to be aggressive and it didn’t pay off. George and I at the end on the Hard were too slow while the guys on the Softs were too quick.”

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