Leclerc Concedes to Sainz's Superior Performance: "Carlos Has Just Been Better"

Monday, 25 March 2024 at 16:30
leclercsainz ferrari4
Charles Leclerc congratulated and highlighted the performance of his teammate Carlos Sainz as he admitted the Spaniard was better during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
Coming into the Australian Grand Prix, it wasn't clear how Sainz would perform just two weeks after undergoing surgery with almost no time for preparation.
However, from the start of qualifying, the 29-year-old has been on it, setting the fastest time in Q1 and Q2. In the end, Max Verstappen beat him in the battle for the pole position, but Sainz put in a lap that secured a front-row start for him.
This meant that he was in the best position to profit from any unusual circumstances that might arise during the race, and he did.
The Spanish Ferrari driver overtook Verstappen on lap two after a small mistake from the Dutchman (who later had to retire his car due to technical issues). He then managed the whole race in P1 until he crossed the finish line to win the Australian Grand Prix.
During this whole time, he was followed by Charles Leclerc in second place, who couldn't really keep up with him. Ultimately, Leclerc crossed the finish line in P2 and completed a one-two for Ferrari.
However, it was clear that Sainz had the upper hand this weekend. When Leclerc was asked what he could have done to beat the 29-year-old, he responded:

"Just being better. I think in qualifying yesterday, I haven't been good enough. In the second stint today, on the first hard stint, I had quite a bit of graining on the front left after the [Virtual] Safety Car. The last stint was really good, but it wasn't enough."

"So Carlos has just been better this weekend. But it's been that in the last three years, where we basically will arrive at one race, and Carlos will be better, and then I'll push, and then I'll be better at the next race, and then we'll improve like that."

Leclerc will have a new teammate starting from 2025 as Lewis Hamilton will be joining Ferrari, but highlighted Sainz's strengths as he added:

"And that's very exciting as a driver to have such a fast team-mate. And he's really been on it since the beginning of the weekend. So congratulations to Carlos."