Charles Leclerc publicly backtracks on Carlos Sainz attack after incident

Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz appeared to let their frustrations spill out into public.

Charles Leclerc appeared to reveal cracks within Ferrari after qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix when he seemed to blame his teammate for impeding his performance. 

The Monegasque driver looked to be accusing the Spaniard of blocking him during a fast lap around the Albert Park Circuit during a post-qualifying interview with French broadcaster Canal Plus.

“Thanks to Carlos for the slipstream through turns 3 and 4,” Leclerc remarked. “That’s always nice.”

Cameras caught an exchange between Leclerc and Sainz in the media pen after the incident, with the pair appearing to be locked in a tense conversation.

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During later media appearances, Leclerc changed tact, playing down his comments about Sainz by suggesting there was a “miunderstanding” about the situation.

“I wasn’t putting it all together so it was my fault,” Leclerc said. 

“Q3 was a bit better but I don’t know what happened in the second run, if there was a miscommunication with Carlos or whatever, but I found myself behind him for the whole first sector which was not very good.

“We will talk about it in the briefing to try to improve these situations but I didn’t do a great job today either,” he added.

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Sainz appeared more comfortable with the Ferrari, as the Spaniard qualified in P5, compared to his teammate in P7. 

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“We have changed the car quite a bit,” Sainz said in Australia.  

“We’ve tried a lot of things and while I wouldn’t say we’ve turned it upside down, we’ve changed it a lot. 

“It may seem like we’ve taken a step back compared to Jeddah because instead of 2nd and 5th we are 5th and 7th, but I felt more comfortable,” the Spaniard added.