Ex-Ferrari boss calls Charles Leclerc ‘naïve’ for Carlos Sainz expectation

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are thought to have an increasingly tense relationship, as Ferrari struggles with a challenging start to the season.

Former Ferrari team boss Peter Windsor has warned that the Italian team could be divided by growing tension between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

The potential row between Leclerc and Sainz was exposed during the Australian Grand Prix, as the Monegasque was caught on the team radio sarcastically thanking his teammate for a final lap tow during qualifying. 

“S**t lap, I had no prep this time,” Leclerc said. 

“Big thanks to Carlos for the tow. Got a bit of speed there, always nice.”

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The poor qualifying would ultimately prove irrelevant for Leclerc, as his race ended early on Sunday when he was hit into the gravel trap by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

The swift exit in Australia left Leclerc having suffered two DNFs in three races, leaving him in 10th place in the Drivers’ Standings on just six points.

“In Q3, Charles was quite annoyed that he didn’t get any sort of tow or help from Carlos Sainz,” Windsor said on YouTube.

“It would have been only on, I guess, the finishing straight. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in Melbourne you can get any help at all.

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“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.

“You’ve got your guys and 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.

“To me, even if Charles felt that Carlos was in a position to help him, I think it’s quite naïve 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’s done pretty well so far over the Australian Grand Prix weekend [and] above all he just wants to outqualify Charles Leclerc.

“To think that Carlos is then going to try and help Charles with the tow was, I think, a bit naïve.

“I’m surprised that Charles even allowed that thought to come into his head because it’s unlike him to think that way.

“I think, partly because of that, he 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.

“I think that’s a really interesting dynamic of what’s going on at Ferrari right now.

“If I was managing Charles Leclerc, I’d be saying to Charles right now, ‘the best thing you can do is to have a great relationship with Carlos Sainz because you might need him as the season goes on’.

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“‘You are quicker – don’t worry about that – but you might need him. The last thing you need is to draw any sort of rift between you two.

“‘And right now, Carlos Sainz is hurting badly because of the ridiculous penalty he was given at the final restart in Melbourne, so the best thing you can do is actually get on his bandwagon, sympathise with him and go along with how ludicrous that penalty was and just put your arm around him a bit’.

“That’s what I would say if I was managing Charles. I doubt that’s happening.”