Charles Leclerc reveals how he defeated Carlos Sainz in 2022

Charles Leclerc finished the 2022 season as runner up to Max Verstappen, after bettering Sergio Perez’s result in Abu Dhabi.

Carlos Sainz has endured an inconsistent two years with Ferrari, with the highs of victory in Silverstone often being met by the lows of DNFs in Austin, Austria, Suzuka and Imola.

In his first season with Ferrari the Spaniard upset the odds and beat golden boy Charles Leclerc in the final standings by a close 5.5 points, after half points were awarded for the non-event of a Belgian Grand Prix.

In 2022 however, Leclerc was able to mount somewhat of a title challenge, before Max Verstappen and Red Bull ran away with both titles, while Sainz was resigned to competing for podiums at the majority of race weekends.

The Monegasque driver now spoken to reporters about beating Sainz in 2022, claiming that there are multiple possible reason why he managed to get the better of the former McLaren driver.

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“I changed a few things,” said Leclerc.

“The way I work. The way I discipline myself at home.

“I was a bit freestyle last year. Whenever I was at home, did a thousand things. To be honest, in 2021 I was very tired from the middle of the season until the end. That affected me and affected the performance.

“It’s also possible that this car suits me better. We had a great winter test. We tried a lot of things there. We put a lot of focus on how I can drive the car. That helped that I started the season on a high level. I was able to concentrate on the details.”

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Despite both of Ferrari’s drivers having title ambitions, Leclerc and Sainz are said to share a positive and friendly relationship, with the pair sitting down to watch Spain’s World Cup campaign together, where the Monegasque hilariously was filmed falling asleep.

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Sainz has suggested that he has had to change his driving style in 2022 to match Leclerc, claiming that once he had nailed the set-up towards the end of the season, he was able to match the lap times of his teammate on a regular basis.

Sainz will be concerned about Ferrari’s change in management following the resignation of Mattia Binotto, as many of the rumoured replacements, such as Fred Vasseur, prefer to have a clear first and second driver, which will not go down well with the Spaniard who clearly had the ability to match Leclerc.

Ferrari are yet to announce their replacement for Binotto, with many of the favoured candidates reportedly turning down the top job with the Scuderia, leaving the team scrambling ahead of the start of pre-season testing next year.