Carlos Sainz on working with Charles Leclerc: ‘We have a healthy competition between us’

Carlos Sainz is prepared to attack Charles Leclerc when he has the chance to in 2024.

Carlos Sainz believes himself and Charles Leclerc are a “very good pairing” for Ferrari, although the Spaniard admits that there is a “healthy competition” with his teammate.

Sainz was more consistent than Leclerc across the most recent campaign and even claimed Ferrari’s only race win in 2023; however, it was the Monegasque who came out on top in the intra-team battle.

Leclerc claimed fifth in the Drivers’ Championship whilst Sainz had to settle for seventh, albeit just six points behind.

It was Sainz who Ferrari could depend on for a better result throughout 2023, as Leclerc’s performances were inconsistent particularly during the first half of last year.

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Sainz’s win at the Singapore Grand Prix was clearly Ferrari’s highlight of last season, especially as the Spaniard was the only non-Red Bull to win a race.

Leclerc was very good in the closing stages of the recent season though and claimed three podiums in the final four races.

The 26-year-old secured six podiums across the season, whilst Sainz only managed three rostrum finishes.

Sainz is more than aware that Leclerc is incredible when it comes to qualifying and is capable of making up several places on a Sunday, making him difficult to beat.

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However, the Spanish driver is ready to “bite” when the chance comes, although he recognises that he must “control” himself when opportunities to beat Leclerc arise.

“In every race, we are within half a tenth of each other,” Sainz told DAZN Spain. “Charles Leclerc and I are always together.

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“The ability he has on a single lap, the ability he has in the race to come back and gain positions at the start… We make a very good pair. We make a very good pairing.

“I think we are two drivers who get on very well together. I think that’s the best thing for the team, to have two drivers pushing each other. I think we have a healthy competition between us, but we always prioritise the team.

“I try to bite when I have to bite and I try to control myself when I have to control myself.”