Leclerc and Sainz, who’s in charge?
Carlos Sainz after the pole position in Monza he repeated it in Singapore, also taking victory in Sunday’s Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc knows he missed the great opportunity to triumph in 2023 in Qualifying right in the last corners of the Marina Bay track where he left that tenth which relegated him to the second row, still very close to his teammate and George Russell. At the start Leclerc was equipped with soft tires to take second position, a plan that succeeded to perfection, at which point the Monegasque covered his garage partner’s back and the Safety Car definitively extinguished any ambition for victory for Leclerc.
In the standings Sainz has a 19-point margin over Leclerc, but above all he now has two pole positions and a victory in his favor in a comparison that previously had seen him only manage thanks to regularity. ‘Who’s in charge at Ferrari?’ is the title of the service de Il Resto del Carlino edited by Leo Turrini who writes: “Now Ferrari has discovered that it has two captains. Carlitos Sainz’s boom, also in the media, introduces an independent variable in the dynamics of the Cavallino. And the consequences will have to be governed with caution and intelligence. Because obviously Carletto Leclerc cannot be expected to be drunk with happiness in the face of the well-deserved consecration of his work colleague. Carlitos is ahead. And Carletto hates it.”
The print he goes out of his way and writes about overtaking by Sainz in the hierarchies with Leclerc: “Charles Leclerc accepted the overtaking in the home hierarchy with fair play – we read in the article signed by Stefano Mancini entitled ‘Sainz, overtaking in the family, Ferrari is now tailor-made for him’ – Monza had the green light from the pits to duel with his teammate, without managing to pass him. Two weeks later, the internal challenge between the two was played in qualifying. Frederic Vasseur was looking for his first victory as team principal at all costs and to bring it home he studied an aggressive strategy, with Charles sacrificed to protect Carlos’s back. The changes gradually made to the SF-23 weigh on the new direction, as it now suits Sainz’s driving style, but his partner no longer likes it.”.
The Corriere dello Sport highlights that Carlos Sainz’s ‘explosion’ since F1 returned to the track after the summer break has given the definitive acceleration as regards the negotiations that will lead to the renewal of the contracts of both drivers of the Scuderia di Maranello: “After Monza the negotiations started – writes Fulvio Solms – and at this moment there is no impediment to closing of the agreements in the space of a couple of months“.
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