Sainz Hits At Leclerc After Finding Out About Post-Race Comments

Monday, 24 June 2024 at 12:00
sainz carlosleclerc ferrari
Carlos Sainz hit back at Charles Leclerc, whom he had an incident with during the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix.
Scuderia Ferrari drivers started the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix alongside each other, from P5 and P6 on the grid- right behind two Mercedes drivers and Max Verstappen with Lando Norris.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc seemed to be at a slight disadvantage in terms of pace compared to the drivers ahead, so race execution and teamwork were crucial.
However, the team part didn't really work out for Scuderia in Barcelona. On lap three, Carlos Sainz decided to go for an overtake on his teammate, which resulted in a minor collision in turn one.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the tenth round of the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Monegasque driver argued this wasn't the part of pre-agreed strategy.

"We discussed before the race that it was part of the race we both had to save the tires as much as possible."

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

The 26-year-old then revealed he suffered some damage as a result of the collision and an unnecessarily tough battle with his own teammate.
The small loss of time that he suffered would then be crucial at the end of the race where he crossed the finish line less than half a second behind George Russell in P4.

“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.

Ultimately, Sainz's efforts didn't bring any fruit, and he finished in P6 (where he started either way), and it looked like Leclerc could have finished in P4. The 26-year-old added:

"I wouldn't overreact to the race like this; it's his home race; it's a very important moment of his career."

"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's response to Leclerc

The older Ferrari driver had his own point of view on the incident and the whole race itself. Approached with comments made by his teammate, Sainz hit at Leclerc, suggesting he tends to complain too much:

"I think too many times he [Leclerc] complains after a race about something." 

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

The Spaniard's point of view also makes sense. However, after overtaking his own teammate, he didn't manage to make further progress despite Mercedes being on a used set of tires.
The 29-year-old did gain one position when he went to pit earlier than some of the other drivers. He managed to undercut Lewis Hamilton, but the seven-time World Champion came back to reclaim his position a couple of laps later. The Ferrari driver added:

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