Leclerc Acknowledges Sainz’s Superiority as Ferrari’s Internal Rivalry Heats Up

April 18th, 2024, 1:29 PM

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is tipping his hat to teammate Carlos Sainz. The competition between the two has been minimal, but now Leclerc openly acknowledges the Spaniard’s superiority. After all, Sainz has already claimed a Grand Prix this season and has outperformed his teammate on multiple race weekends. It’s time for Leclerc to step up and reestablish himself as Ferrari’s golden boy.

In the lead-up to the Chinese Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was asked about Sainz’s pace. Has the smooth operator been able to adapt to the SF-24 more quickly? “It’s very simple, I think he’s just doing better,” Leclerc confessed. “In Bahrain, it was still hard to compare because I was dealing with issues. Aside from that, it was a very strong weekend. But in the last two weeks, he’s just been stronger.”

It’s up to Leclerc to prove himself again. Ferrari has signed him for a long time, while Carlos Sainz will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton next year. Especially in qualifying – where the Monegasque has traditionally excelled – Leclerc wants to show why he was once appointed as the savior of the scuderia. “It’s up to me to step up,” he admitted. “Especially in qualifying pace, it needs to be better.”

“So far, I’ve struggled with driving clean laps,” the driver continued. “I’m working very hard on that now. Carlos is struggling less and has so far driven at a very high level.” Yet Leclerc – who still ranks higher in the championship because Sainz missed a race – has confidence in his own abilities. “I’m not worried, I just need to show it on the track.”

Charles Leclerc versus Carlos Sainz

Race Charles Leclerc (Qualification) Carlos Sainz (Qualification) Charles Leclerc (Race) Carlos Sainz (Race)
Bahrain P2 P4 P4 P3
Saudi Arabia P2 P3
Australia P5 P2 P2 P1
Japan P8 P4 P4 P3

Charles Leclerc versus Carlos Sainz (2024). Especially in the last two races, Sainz was the superior teammate.

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