Carlos Sainz ‘pleading for equal terms’ with Charles Leclerc as Ferrari ‘banging their head’

Carlos Sainz finished P5 at the French Grand Prix after starting P19, while Charles Leclerc crashed out while leading.

Carlos Sainz recovered brilliantly at the French Grand Prix, having started on the last row of the grid at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

The Spaniard was slapped with numerous grid penalties, after being forced into taking new engine components following his Austrian Grand Prix blow-up.

Despite this, the Spanish driver recovered to finish in fifth place; however, should’ve stepped foot on the rostrum.

Sainz had just overtaken Sergio Pérez for third place, before being called into the pits in a questionable strategic decision.

READ: Ferrari’s management blamed as Scuderia warned they’re ‘not ready to fight for the title’

The stop saw Sainz drop to ninth, before a late race charge saw the Ferrari driver make his way back to fifth.

Sainz was Ferrari’s only finisher in France, after Charles Leclerc crashed out of the race lead.

As a result, Ferrari are now 82-points behind Red Bull Racing in the Constructors’ Championship.

Whilst Ferrari have faced a number of reliability problems in 2022, many have blamed Ferrari’s failures this season on not having a number one driver, with the team continuing to treat Leclerc and Sainz as equals.

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Sainz has been asked by the media whether he is prepared to take a back-step for the team and become the number two; however, the Spaniard has replied every time by saying he’s “not ready”.

AFP journalist Daniel Ortelli believes this is an issue for Ferrari, with the journalist recently telling the F1 Nation Podcast that whilst Leclerc’s retirement was a problem for the team in France, Sainz’s continued refusal to be the number two is the team’s “other problem”.

“That’s the other problem of the weekend,” said Ortelli.

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

“Carlos was saying on Friday or Saturday ‘I’m not ready to be the No 2, I’ve shown over and over I have the rhythm, that I’m good’. He seems to forget the beginning of his season, but that’s good for him. It makes sense that he doesn’t talk about it.

“Now he says ‘I’m right up at the top’ and again after the race on Sunday he said ‘I made a mistake last time, Charles makes a mistake this time, we are pushing so hard that we are making mistakes’. So he’s really pleading for having those two drivers on equal terms.

“And we more or less know it’s a passport for defeat at the end of the season because it’s been like that before. So it’s kind of like banging your head against the wall at Ferrari,” Ortelli concluded.