Ferrari react to claim that Charles Leclerc is ‘more emotional’ than Carlos Sainz

Ferrari's title challenge has wavered in recent weeks.

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies does not believe Charles Leclerc needs to change his approach in any way.

The Monegasque took victory in Bahrain and Australia as Max Verstappen suffered reliability failures in both, while team-mate Sergio Perez also found himself out of the season opener.

Having begun the year with a one-two, the Scuderia were looking unstoppable, but Red Bull recovered in Imola as they took a one-two of their own – the first of six in a row.

Carlos Sainz broke the Austrian side’s dominance with a win in Silverstone, before Leclerc won in Spielberg, but the last two races in France and Hungary have been a nightmare for both drivers.

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The issue for the Italian side is that, even when one driver has won this season, the other has ended up with a disappointing result.

Sainz crashed out of the Australian Grand Prix, before a por strategy on Leclerc’s side of the garage put him down to fourth in Silverstone having been leading Sainz.

The Spaniard’s engine failed in Austria, so three of the four wins out of Maranello have been marred by misfortune.

Further, the team as a whole have cost themselves a lot of points this year. Sainz followed his crash in Melbourne with another in Imola, before making a costly error in Spain.

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Leclerc’s engine failed in Barcelona while he was leading, which came after he had also made a mistake at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, spinning out of the podium places.

Further strategic errors took place in Monaco and France, and both drivers retired from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix because of engine problems.

The indecisiveness from Ferrari that arguably cost Sainz a podium in France came after Leclerc had crashed out while leading the race, so we have witnessed a team that has a brilliant and competitive car, but lacks the ability to use it to their advantage on a consistent basis.

After mistakes from the team this season, the Monegasque has generally let on a bit more disappointment than his team-mate.

However, Mekies argues that they are both equally upset after a race that has not gone their way; they just have different ways of showing it.

“I wouldn’t say Leclerc is a little more emotional than Sainz,” he told Autosprint. 

“Both of these guys have had ups and downs – the latter very painful – this season and in both cases, when they go back to the garage and analyse what happened also through the data, they are able to reset everything and go into learning mode.”

Further, the Frenchman excuses the mistakes that Leclerc has made because, for the two key errors he has made in 2022, he has put in 11 other magnificent performances.

“Also this year Leclerc has shown that he has such exceptional speed that it is an aspect that should not be touched,” explained Mekies.

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“Charles doesn’t need us to understand, as a great driver, how far he has to push in terms of proximity to the limit. He is a master at this and mistakes can happen just as we do too.

“Let’s not look at the single mistake, but at the percentage of sensational performances by Charles, who was indeed exceptional on many more occasions than when he made a mistake, and we don’t want anything to change.”

As for some of the radio communication heard at times from the Scuderia, Mekies notes that it is important to remember how tense a race situation can be.

“It is necessary to distinguish what you listen to on the radio during the race with the heat of the moment, from the rest,” he stated.

“They are two different things, when they get out of the car and analyse everything, after an hour they no longer have negative emotions and are even more motivated.”

Ferrari trail Red Bull by 97 points in the Constructors’ Standings, while Verstappen leads Leclerc by 80 in the Drivers’ Championship.