Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Leclerc ‘complains too many times’ says Sainz after clash

Formula 1

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Carlos Sainz Jnr said his team mate has complained about incidents in races “too many times” following their latest run-in during today’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The two Ferraris finished the Spanish Grand Prix in the same positions they started, with Charles Leclerc fifth and Sainz in sixth.

However, this came after the pair made contact on the third lap of the race when Sainz attempted to pass Leclerc around the outside of the first corner. Leclerc suffered minor front wing damage from the clash.

Speaking after the race, Leclerc suggested Sainz had failed to follow pre-arranged team tactics by attacking him early in the race and that his team mate had “wanted to do something spectacular” at his home grand prix.

Sainz dismissed those complaints. “I think it’s too many times that he complains after a race about something,” he told Sky.

“I was on the attack,” he explained. “We were on new soft [tyres], Mercedes were on used soft and we had to go on the attack in the first laps when you have a new tyre and try to pass them.

“Like we even said before the race, I passed Charles because I don’t know if he did a mistake or if he was just managing a bit too much.”

After passing his team mate, Sainz caught and attacked Lewis Hamilton. “I nearly passed Lewis, I undercut Lewis, we nearly passed Russell at the pit stop. So I think I was trying out there what I have to try as a driver, what is required from me as a driver. And he elected to manage more.”

After the clash, the two Ferrari drivers used different strategies with Sainz taking hard tyres for the final stint and Leclerc running on softs. Sainz was asked by the team to allow his team mate through in the later stages of the race to attack George Russell on the hard tyres ahead, which he did.

“In the end, for him, [the contact] kind of paid off because he beat me at the end on a soft-medium-soft,” Sainz said.

“For me, I elected to be aggressive – soft-medium-hard – and it didn’t pay off. It is what it is. I think George and I on the hards at the end, we were just too slow, while the guys on softs were very quick.”

Asked about the clash between his drivers, Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said he did not believe it prevented his team from taking a better result in the race.

“You have also other situations in the race where we lost one or two seconds, here and there,” Vasseur told Sky. “Carlos swapped when we asked him to swap at one stage, it was a good move.”

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2024 Spanish Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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12 comments on “Leclerc ‘complains too many times’ says Sainz after clash”

  1. I think this is a bit of a pot calling the kettle black.

    It seems all drivers complain about every move every other driver makes – and Carlos is one of the worst recently.

    1. Indeed

    2. That’s because they have to, as part of strategy to influence the stewards. So what about a rule that the stewards can’t listen to the radio communication or read transcripts during the race? All comms between them and the teams can go through someone else (as I assume is the case anyway), and be filtered out.
      Drivers would still complain sometimes, but at least they wouldn’t feel obliged to put on a show for the decision makers (sometimes the teams literally force them to complain by asking them suggestive questions).
      These are small things, but drivers do like like whining… whatever this way. They used to have a bad boy image in the past, now they are all forced to appear so sensitive and delicate, and be tattletales.
      The usual PR nonsense already makes them look as dull as a person can be.

      1. *do look like whining..
        Annoying autocorrect. Almost as annoying as F1 radio comms.

  2. Judging from how the rest of the race panned out, Charles Leclerc was doing the correct amount of tyre management for the car he was in and the phase of the race that was happening. Carlos Sainz was driving the car he wished he had instead of the one he actually had – and driving in a sloppy manner to boot (he crashed into Lewis Hamilton later, so this appeared to be Carlos having a bad day rather than anything specifically Charles-related). Nor is this the first time any of that has happened.

    If this is how Carlos is going to behave when Ferrari tries to help him maximise his result, then he should not be surprised if future support is limited in response, since there are clearly some forms of assistance Carlos does not know how to benefit from receiving.

    1. Sainz occasionally has flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately absent those flashes he can be a bit of a muppet. I don’t think whatever team picks him up is going to be happy with the decision a year later.

      1. Even with his alternatives so far being Ocon, Sargeant, Perez (scratch that now), Antonelli (still looks green even in F2, far from podiums), Bottas, Magnussen, Zhou and current and former F2 drivers? I’d easily pick him over any of them.
        It’s sad that no one even considers Palou for example, but as I understand it, he aims for 2026 potentially, not 2025.

        1. Palou has implied that is partially down to the contract disputes he’s had with Ganassi and McLaren. The fact that both cases escalated to legal disputes due to Palou’s behaviour has damaged his reputation and made some teams think he can’t be trusted.

  3. Said Sainz after he complained about Hamilton’s overtake on him

  4. Agreed with Sainz, especially this ‘it’s not good but I won’t talk about it more’ style is just meh. These guys could all do with a year in sportscars to get some team-thinking going.

    If they’re splitting the strategies, go along with it. Don’t fight for position. Let Sainz through at the start, and at the end, let Leclerc through if his race worked out better. Especially when they’re not even fighting for the podium. As I once heard said someone from the NFL (?), ‘if you fight for the name on the front people will remember the name on the back’.

    1. Sainz wasn’t supposed to be overtaking at that point though, he was supposed to be managing his tyres. The disobedience of team orders (which were there to improve Sainz’s eventual position) was a pre-requisite to the pass even being possible.

  5. This coming from the guy who practically cries like a little child to the stewards every race, “This is so not fair, he has to give me the place back, please please talk to them tell them, I’m a victim”.

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