Charles Leclerc wants Ferrari to protect him from Carlos Sainz

Charles Leclerc is eyeing a move away from Ferrari as early as the 2024 season.

Renowned F1 journalist Peter Windsor has given an extensive breakdown of the situation concerning Charles Leclerc and Ferrari.

Leclerc joined Ferrari in 2019 and repeatedly outperformed four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, until the German left for Aston Martin.

In the 2022 season, Leclerc was the only driver on the grid that could put up a fight against Max Verstappen, claiming nine pole positions and three race wins.

Many believe Charles Leclerc is the man to bring home the gold for Ferrari and end a painful wait that stretches all the way back to 2007 when Kimi Raikkonen won the world title.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Unfortunately for Leclerc and Ferrari, the Monegasque driver has not won a race since the Austrian Grand Prix in 2022.

Ferrari have struggled for pace and consistency since Lercerc’s arrival, making some costly strategic issues that have reflected badly on Leclerc.

The 2023 season has been the same. Both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have struggled for form only registering one podium between them which came in Azerbaijan (Leclerc third place).

Sainz currently sits 5th in the driver’s standings with 68 points and Leclerc is 7th with 54.

Article continues below

The mood at Ferrar has soured, and Peter Windsor has given his verdict on Charles Leclerc.

“The impression I get is that Charles has got to the point of his Ferrari career of knowing that he’s pushed as hard as he can possibly push in every direction and it hasn’t really worked,” he said.

“Now he’s just going to be a racing driver and drive the best possible race he can but he’s not going to get involved because there’s no future in trying to do that.

“Politically, it’s too complicated, too much pressure, and he’s got to just focus on his driving. I think that’s where he’s at.

“The problem is that I think his brain is still pretty addled in terms of just having a clean weekend and wondering what’s going to go wrong next. I think that’s the problem with Charles at the moment because he’s quite an emotional guy.

“I think, in the back of his mind, he has this very complex pressure, which Max [Verstappen] doesn’t have and Lewis [Hamilton], to his credit, doesn’t have because it’d be quite easy for Lewis to have a lot going on in his brain as well. But he manages not to have that, despite everything, and to get in the car and still drive beautifully.

“But Charles, I think if they’re saying to him twice, ‘We’ve told Carlos not to race you’, that’s, for sure, because at some point, it’s come up in conversation ‘I don’t want any pressure from Carlos Sainz’. If Charles is thinking that way, then he’s confused for sure. Because he’s a lot better, in terms of his technique and his abilities, he’s ahead of Sainz for sure. But he’s very, very mixed up.

“Obviously, if he could leave Ferrari and go somewhere at least as good if not better, he would do it. But there isn’t anywhere for him to go.

READ: Red Bull criticise Ferrari and Mercedes

“Red Bull is obviously locked up and Mercedes, unless it’s a swap deal with Lewis, isn’t going to happen. So, other than that, he might as well stay where he is. He possibly needs a new whole structure there around his own life and simplify everything a bit.

“But I mean, he’s not doing too badly. Qualifying in Canada was just a mess, wasn’t it? He was so good on Friday, and in FP3, and, in that race, potentially he should have been up there with Alonso, if not ahead of Alonso and, given how well the Ferrari went on the mediums, I think it would have been a really good race.

“But it all fell apart in qualifying for Charles because they just couldn’t get the temperatures. It happened once in Spain, it shouldn’t have happened again.”