Ex-Ferrari manager shocked by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz falling out

Charles Leclerc is currently 14 points behind team-mate Carlos Sainz in the Drivers' Championship after the opening three rounds.

Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor believes “it was odd” for Charles Leclerc to speak against team-mate Carlos Sainz so openly at the Australian Grand Prix, with the Monegasque having clearly been “upset”.

The 2023 F1 season hasn’t started well for Leclerc, with the 25-year-old having already retired from two races.

He retired from third in Bahrain following a power unit failure, finished seventh in Saudi Arabia, before spinning on the first lap in Australia.

As things stand Leclerc stands next to no chance of challenging Max Verstappen for the world title, with Ferrari seemingly being lost once again.

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The Italians are currently fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and are in need of help; however, big upgrades are hopefully going to give the Scuderia the improvements they require.

Upgrades, though, won’t solve a possible feud between Leclerc and Sainz, with the Monegasque having hit-out at his team-mate over the radio after qualifying in Melbourne.

Leclerc criticised Sainz for not giving him a good tow, resulting in a sarcastic comment over the radio.

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

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Leclerc’s comments came as a real surprise to Windsor, who was left baffled as to why Sainz would openly help Leclerc in the first place.

It could end up really backfiring on Leclerc given how political a team Ferrari are, with every word said being brutally analysed.

“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, via his YouTube channel.

“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 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.”

It was only last month that Leclerc assured that everything at Maranello was going well despite the challenging start to the season, and that the rumours of potential turmoil were “completely unfounded”.

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“Everyone is fully on it and fully positive still, which is great. We all need to push in the same direction as I said this is the most important,” Leclerc said in March, as per the Express.

“There have been loads of rumours around the team – which, for once, 90 per cent of them were completely unfounded.

“I don’t know from where it is coming from and to be honest I don’t want to even spend any energy on trying to find from where it’s coming from. We just need to be on it and focus on ourselves.”