Carlos Sainz opens up on struggling against Charles Leclerc

Despite boasting the fastest car on the grid at the start of 2022, Charles Leclerc was the Ferrari driver winning races, with Carlos Sainz struggling to match his teammate.

The major change in regulations provided teams with a golden chance to reinvent themselves at the beginning of the 2022 season, with the rules up for interpretation and really testing the cleaver minds of engineers up and down the paddock.

Ferrari were one of the teams who managed to take full advantage of the changes in regulations, going from the best of the rest to a true title challenger over the winter break.

Charles Leclerc stormed to early wins in Bahrain and Australia, while his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz was forced to wait until Formula 1 travelled to Silverstone to pick up the first win of his career.

The Spaniard has admitted that it took him longer than he expected to get used to racing for a team as big and with as high expectations as Ferrari, having raced for the likes of Renault and McLaren in the past.

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Sainz has now revealed that the gap between himself and Leclerc at the start of the season provided him with the motivation he needed to overcome his problems and become a true race win contender.

“This was the first time in my career where I was two or three tenths slower,” explained the 28-year-old.

“I really had to put my head down and try to find where I could find that margin. It showed me my limits in a little more detail and in the end I found them.”

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The Spaniards maiden win at the British Grand Prix was his only win of the season, however if it was not for a spell of horrendous luck towards the end of the season, Sainz could easily have more than one victory to his name.

When reflecting on the season, Sainz has admitted that 2022 was one of the hardest years of his career, as crashes that were not his fault combined with a ludicrous number of mechanical failures hindered his season significantly.

Sainz has claimed that next season he believes he will be capable of challenging Leclerc on a regular basis, meaning that Fred Vasseur could walk into an internal title battle next near at Ferrari.