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Sainz: Leclerc behaved like a gentleman after Silverstone heartbreak

Charles Leclerc was left visibly frustrated after he fell from first to fourth following a late-race Safety Car during the British Grand Prix, while teammate Carlos Sainz went on to win the race.

Carlos Sainz says Charles Leclerc behaved like a gentleman following the British Grand Prix, despite seeing a likely victory taken from him due to a Ferrari strategy decision. It was teammate Sainz who benefitted from the call, with the Italian team pitting him onto Soft tyres during a late-race Safety Car while Leclerc was left out, vulnerable, on old Hards. After the race, Leclerc was on the receiving end of a finger wag from team boss Mattia Binotto, while the Monegasque's frustrations were clear to see. But once the dust had settled, Lelcerc acted like a "gentleman" says Sainz, with a short but "normal" post-race debrief held by the team afterwards. "It was a relatively short briefing because we had to leave for the airport and take a group picture. I think Charles had the anti-doping control too, so we couldn't share the briefing together," Sainz explained to media, including RacingNews365.com . "But like always, he behaved like gentleman, like he is. The briefing went normal, the way it should go the way it goes. "When I have a bad race it is also a normal briefing, and when he has a bad race it is a normal briefing. I think this is one of the strong points that we have as teammates and drivers. These things are always under control."

Sainz defends Ferrari's late-race British GP call

Sainz does not believe that Ferrari made the wrong call during the final laps of the British Grand Prix, despite Leclerc sliding from P1 to P4 as Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez sliced through. The team took the decision to vary their strategies in fear of losing track position to Hamilton, who was inside their pit window on newer Hard tyres that could easily have made it to the end of the Grand Prix. Ferrari then asked Sainz to hold back and protect Leclerc from the charging Hamilton at the restart – but Sainz declined, warning that doing so could put the team's win under threat. "Ferrari won and I won. So, for sure, it was not the wrong decision," explained Sainz, defending his team's call. "I think at that time, in the car, I knew perfectly what I had to do in order to not compromise Charles but also to give Ferrari a race win – and that is what the team cares the most about. "I think everything I did was sensible. I did not put Charles under any unnecessary risk or pressure while overtaking him, knowing that I was going to overtake him pretty easy on the Softs. "I think it was a good outcome in the end and I would have done it the same again. And I think the team perfectly understood my position. "That's why they didn't call again for the 10 car lengths, because they knew that what I had argued with them on the radio during the race was totally valid."

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2