Leclerc on Sainz F1 Rivalry: Claims of Tension Are “Exaggerated”

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The two haven’t consistently been on the same page this season, with various incidents on the radio underlining divergent viewpoints on their strategies.

In the Australian GP, Leclerc voiced his dissatisfaction, not receiving the anticipated tow from Sainz during qualifying.

During the Austrian GP, Sainz contacted Ferrari via radio at the beginning of the race, requesting Leclerc be moved aside, only for his appeal to be turned down.

A struggle for track position at the British GP led both drivers to make sharp comments about each other during qualifying.

Leclerc’s remark after being overtaken by Sainz at Silverstone was, “Nice Carlos, nice, good overtake in the last corner…” although he had priority during the session.

Sainz responded, “It’s a bit unfair what you’re asking me to do there. Sacrifice my tyre temperature. But anyway, whatever. Also, I am P4, he is P3, I am more at risk.”

These events have sparked speculation that the rivalry between Leclerc and Sainz is more intense than what the team acknowledges.

However, Leclerc has dismissed these claims, insisting that the situation is misconstrued as a problem within Ferrari.

He noted in an exclusive interview with F1, “It’s exaggerated, I believe, with Carlos. We enjoy a strong relationship.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Ferrari

“We know how to collaborate outside of racing, and we connect well, as we have many shared interests.

“While we are highly competitive with one another, we’re in Formula 1, and I cherish the sport for its competitiveness. I think it’s wonderful to have that.”

Leclerc cautions against reading too deeply into the radio exchanges, which often occur in the heat of the moment when adrenaline levels are elevated.

He further explained, “There’s occasionally some back-and-forth over the radio in certain situations.

“But it stems from our competitive nature, desiring the best possible result. These occurrences are typical.

“Being a Ferrari driver, we might be under scrutiny more than others, but that’s acceptable.

“In the end, everyone within the team knows that our relationship is positive, and we are striving toward common objectives.”

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RacingFan87 August 16, 2023 - 1:14 pm

Leclerc and Sainz are both incredible drivers, can’t believe there’s so much talk about this. They’re on the same team after all. Go Ferrari!

SainzFanGirl August 16, 2023 - 4:06 pm

Carlos is doing great. But honestly this tension thing feels like media hype. Love that they are actualy friends outside of the track.

F1Lover August 17, 2023 - 12:11 am

Wow, didnt think their rivalry was so intense. Good to know its all good in Ferrari, need them to take on Mercedes!

TrackAddict August 17, 2023 - 4:01 am

nice to hear both drivers see it as just competitiveness. thats what F1’s about!

SpeedsterMike August 17, 2023 - 6:22 am

Carlos shud have got what he wanted in Austrian GP. Just my opinion, he’s risking more.


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