Sainz Unhappy With Leclerc Battle: 'Didn’t Help Either Of Us'

Monday, 22 April 2024 at 15:30
carlos sainzleclerc ferrari8
Carlos Sainz made his feelings clear about the opening lap battle with his teammate Charles Leclerc, which lost both of them a couple of positions.
Carlos Sainz started the race one position behind his teammate Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque driver started from P6 and Sainz from P7.
Having a better start than his 26-year-old teammate, the Spaniard was able to get alongside going into turn one. What followed was basically a recreation of the Sprint race incident between Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.
As the two Ferrari drivers went side by side through the long corner, there was less and less space for the Spaniard on the outside. He eventually ran out of grip on the outside of the turn and went wide.
In the meantime, both were overtaken, but George Russell, on the inside, and were also put under pressure by Nico Hulkenberg, who eventually overtook them within a couple of corners.
Speaking to the media after the race, the 29-year-old driver was asked to comment on the battle, which evidently didn't benefit both him and his teammate. He said:

"I'd prefer not to comment, but it's obviously quite clear that it cost us both positions. So yeah, it didn't help either of us."

However, despite their initial battle, Leclerc and Sainz brought home P4 and P5 finish, and the Spanish driver believes a better result wasn't possible for the team from Maranello this time around.

"I think, given what our pace was today, I think better than P5 was impossible. We were just playing catch up – we had to box very early for the hard. Then we had to one-stop from Lap 18 or something like this, which went forever on the hard tire, which we were never gonna go much more forward."

"At least we saved P5, but given the pace of the car this weekend, the decisions we took, and the situation after the start, I think it was the maximum we could achieve."