Carlos Sainz branded Ferrari’s new ‘team leader’ as Red Bull warned of threat

Ferrari are currently 82 points behind Red Bull Racing in the Constructors' Championship.

Scuderia Ferrari saw the gap to Red Bull Racing increase substantially once again, after yet another disastrous weekend saw the team lose a potential race victory at the French Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc, who started on pole, was in complete control of the race, until a driver error saw him spin off at Turn 11 of Circuit Paul Ricard.

To make matters worse, Leclerc was unable to reverse out of the tyre barrier, after having suffered from the same throttle problem that saw him panic in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix.

This handed victory to championship leader Max Verstappen, who now boasts a 63-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

READ: Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta roast British ex-Formula 1 racer

Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, drove unbelievably from 19th place.

The Spaniard was forced to start from the back due to taking an engine penalty, after his F1-75 blew-up at the Red Bull Ring.

Sainz managed to quickly get himself onto the back of the podium fight, and at one point found himself in a staggering third-place.

However, Ferrari controversially decided to pit Sainz very late in the race, ultimately ending the Spanish driver’s hopes of a podium finish.

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In the end, Sainz had to settle for P5, but spoke in support of his team who were ridiculed for their decision-making once again.

Whilst Leclerc could be heard screaming down the radio after his spin, Sainz was much calmer when in discussion with his team.

1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill thinks Sainz is more “familiar” with strategies.

Hill went as far as saying on Sky Sports F1 that he sees the Spaniard as the “team leader” at Ferrari, despite being much further behind in the championship.

“Carlos has struck me more as the team leader,” Hill said.

“He seems more familiar with the strategy, he seems to make decisions.”

Due to their shocking reliability so far this season, Ferrari are at risk of losing second in the Constructors’ Championship, with the Mercedes F1 Team beginning to close them down at a fast rate.

There is no doubt that the Italian team have a number of problems; however, Hill admitted that he’d still “love” to be a Ferrari driver.

“I’d love to be a driver at Ferrari,” Hill revealed.

“I don’t expect to get a call. What a great team. The potential is there to fix problems. I would imagine myself as one of those troubleshooters who goes in and says right we can fix this.

“The potential is so great if you can just stop making mistakes and getting people’s heads in gear. And getting them to go in the right direction and work as a team. That challenge is appealing,” says Hill.

The former driver still thinks the title is possible for Ferrari, if they can fix their problems quickly.

With the summer break just a few days away, Ferrari might be looking to get on top of their issues before the second half of the season commences.

READ: Ex-F1 champion baffled by Charles Leclerc

Should they finally fix their problems, then Hill predicts it to be a “close finish” to the season.

“The potential is huge and if they can fix these problems, then they can be a threat,” said the 61-year-old.

“If they do it between now and the end of the season then it could be close finish in the championship.”