Former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock believes that Ferrari will begin favouring Charles Leclerc in the not-too-distant future after the visible disparity there has been between himself and team-mate Carlos Sainz this season.
Leclerc has out-qualified and out-raced Sainz in all of the opening three rounds of the 2022 season thus far, winning two races.
They both ended the first two rounds of the year on the podium, but Sainz’s weekend in Melbourne proved a nightmare as a red flag and a starter issue prevented him from setting a representative lap time in qualifying, leaving him ninth.
He then needed a change of steering wheel before the formation lap, offsetting a lot of his predilections on the start procedure and causing him to lose five places.
He endeavoured to quickly recover back up the order, but made a mistake at Turn Nine, spinning across Turn 10 and into the gravel trap, terminating a miserable weekend.
Former F1 driver and Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle indicated that Sainz needs to step up his game to avoid being forced into a support role for his team-mate.
“He may well end up having to play a supporting role to Leclerc from here, depending on how the competition shapes up and if he can win the next couple of races, which is not out of the question,” he said in his Sky Sports column.
Glock agrees to an extent, but he insinuates that Ferrari will already be thinking about enhancing the Monegasque’s title hopes.
“Leclerc is on an absolute high at the moment,” he said.
“Within the team, the leader is already relatively clear at an early stage. I’m sure Ferrari will prioritise Charles as quickly as possible in certain situations.
“Not yet to such an extreme, of course. But Leclerc is the World Championship leader and Carlos Sainz is already a certain distance behind him.”
The German, who scored three podiums with Toyota in 2008 and 2009, suggests that Sainz grew impatient over the course of the weekend as a result of the amalgamation of attenuating factors that went against him, leading to uncharacteristic mistakes.
“Looking at Ferrari as a whole, it’s surprising that so many mistakes occur with Sainz but not with Leclerc,” Glock explained.
“You could clearly see Sainz was annoyed because of the situation. It already started in qualifying when he crossed the line two seconds too late and so his lap didn’t count because of a red flag.
“But there were also many small mistakes that should not have happened to Ferrari. These happened to Sainz’s car, of all things.
“The Spaniard must have a lot of question marks in his head after the race weekend.”
Sainz currently sits third in the Drivers’ Championship after his nightmare weekend in Australia, 38 points behind leader Leclerc.