Charles Leclerc downplays reports of tension with teammate Carlos Sainz, stating that any perceived conflict has been blown out of proportion.
Ferrari’s performance this season contrasts their competitive standing in 2022, now vying with multiple teams for top-five positions in races. Their 2023 podium count remains at three, with a challenging fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
However, amidst these challenges, their drivers find themselves engaged in a highly intense rivalry on the F1 grid, with merely seven points differentiating Leclerc from his teammate, Sainz.
As a natural consequence, a level of competitive tension has emerged between the two, as both strive to claim the position of the lead driver. Leclerc, however, asserts that this tension has been magnified beyond reality.
The Monegasque told Autosport: “I’m quite active on social media, so I see what’s being said out there. What is being said about Carlos has been exaggerated, we have a great relationship.”
“We are competitive, and we both want to achieve the best possible result. These are normal things. Sainz has the ability to maintain a constant pace, he doesn’t make mistakes and I envy his work ethic and consistency.’
Given Ferrari’s lacklustre performance this season, the competitive dynamic between Leclerc and Sainz is poised to be advantageous.
Both drivers are compelled to surpass the car’s limitations in a bid to outshine one another. Leclerc eagerly embraces the challenge posed by his teammate, seeing it as an opportunity for growth.
He added: “That’s why I love this sport, I think it’s great to compete with your teammate. Out of the car, we know how to work together, and we get along very well because we share a lot of interests.”
Leclerc maintains a 7-point lead over his Spanish counterpart in the Drivers’ Championship standings. As the F1 season is set to resume with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, significant anticipation surrounds the performance of both drivers.