Charles Leclerc made a ‘political’ gesture towards Carlos Sainz

Charles Leclerc has so far scored just six points in the 2023 F1 season, leaving him 10th in the Drivers' Championship.

Former Ferrari team manager Peter Windsor has questioned whether Charles Leclerc sees Carlos Sainz “as a true threat”, after the Monegasque driver sarcastically thanked the Spaniard after qualifying in Australia.

Leclerc has endured the worst possible start to the 2023 F1 season, with the 25-year-old having retired from two of the opening three races.

Leclerc retired from third in Bahrain following a power unit failure, whilst he span out on the opening lap in Australia after being tagged by Lance Stroll.

His only points so far this season came in Saudi Arabia, where he finished behind Sainz in seventh.

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As a result, Leclerc has just six points from the opening three rounds, meaning he already has a mountain to climb should he wish to challenge Max Verstappen for the title this season.

Understandably, this is clearly beginning to frustrate the Ferrari driver, who was unhappy with Sainz for not helping him during qualifying at the Albert Park Circuit.

“Big thanks to Carlos for the tow,” Leclerc said. “Got a bit of speed there, always nice,” Leclerc sarcastically said over the team radio.

Windsor was left somewhat perplexed by Leclerc’s comments, with him labelling it as “odd” for the Monegasque to speak so publicly against his team-mate.

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With everything being brutally analysed by the media given that they drive for Ferrari, Leclerc’s comments perhaps put him in a bad light, with Windsor questioning why Sainz would help Leclerc in the first place.

“I thought it was odd that he made that public, that he was upset about that, because you’ve got to live in your own world and you’ve got to be very cocooned when you’re at Ferrari,” Windsor said on his YouTube channel.

“You’ve got your guys and you’ve got to work in a very apolitical way, so it was quite a political reaction I think he had to it all.

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“To me, even if Charles felt that Carlos was in a position to help him, I think it’s quite naive of him to think that Carlos would. Why would Carlos Sainz help Charles Leclerc any more than Charles would help Carlos really?

“Maybe he would because he doesn’t really ever see Carlos as a true threat, but Carlos Sainz has just come off a very good Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.”

He later added: “I think, partly because of that, he [Leclerc] didn’t qualify well and he had a terrible race. We all know what happened in the race and that’s part of not qualifying well.”