Leclerc Receives Apology From Sainz After 'Over Limit' Sprint Race Incident

Saturday, 20 April 2024 at 11:30
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Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz publicly apologized to his teammate Charles Leclerc during an interview after the Sprint Race.
The two Ferrari drivers didn't have the best Sprint Shootout (qualifying session for the sprint) in the wet conditions, meaning they had to start the race from P5 to P6.
Sainz, who started alongside the Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen, had a very good pace at the beginning of the race and was able to apply pressure on the triple World Champion. The Spaniard told Sky Sports:

"I think I did a good start. I was pushing Max hard at the beginning because I knew if I was passing him, I had a strong chance of winning the race."

After a few laps, the Dutchman found his mojo and disappeared into the distance, but Sainz quickly caught up with Fernando Alonso in P3, with whom they had a mighty battle starting in turn six.
This battle carried on through turns 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 until the Ferrari driver finally got ahead, but he had suffered some damage by that point.

"That probably killed my tires, and I managed for the rest of the race until I got Fernando. Then, I think I made a very good move around the outside of turn seven."

"From then on, he (Alonso) decided to be a bit of all-or-nothing into me into turn nine, which cost us both the race because I picked up damage and a lot of dirt in my tire from that optimistic move."

Sainz then got into another battle, this time with his teammate. Leclerc got alongside and a bit ahead of the 29-year-old trying to go around the outside into the hairpin turn number 14, but Sainz pushed him off the track to retain his position.
The Monegasque driver called Sainz's move "over the limit" but suggested he has also been over the limit sometimes in the past. He added that it is just something they need to discuss. Sainz said:

"From then on, I was sliding around with the damage to the car and dirt in my tires, and I was doing everything I could to defend myself."

"Then, obviously, sliding maybe, I had a bit of a moment there with Charles, but I apologize if I did something over the limit. But we were all racing hard today and I was trying my best to keep it under control out there."