Max Verstappen pokes fun at Charles Leclerc: ‘Maybe you found a sandbag in the car?’

Charles Leclerc will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from P3, with his teammate Carlos Sainz joining him on the second row.

During pre-season testing and free practice, Ferrari have looked some way away from challenging Red Bull at the top of the timing screens, with Aston Martin being the team closest to the energy drink giants so far.

When it came to qualifying however, the Scuderia’s performance improved dramatically, locking out the second row and coming only 0.292 away from pole position.

Leclerc could have even had a shot at pole at the end of Q3 but Ferrari chose to keep the 25-year-old in the garage, allowing them to start the Bahrain Grand Prix on the fresh soft tyres that they saved.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez qualified in second place and when asked about Ferrari’s performance, he suggested that the team may have been hiding some of their performance during testing and practice.

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“The Ferraris definitely picked up throughout. I think they were sandbagging a bit through the first days of testing and during the weekend,” said the Mexican.

Charles Leclerc was asked about Perez’s claims after qualifying and replied “I don’t know. Definitely noy as much.”

Pole sitter Max Verstappen then quickly butted in to suggest that “maybe you found a sandbag in the car,” to which Leclerc replied, “I didn’t find it myself. And I’m not aware of it.”

Verstappen was not finished poking fun at his rival however, as he continued to interrupt another of Leclerc’s interview answers.

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Q1 was red flagged after a piece of carbon fibre flew off of Leclerc’s Ferrari and onto the track and when asked what exactly went wrong, Leclerc said “I haven’t seen the team but I was told on the radio that it was all fine. The part I honestly don’t know because I haven’t seen any images of it whatsoever.”

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While Leclerc was unaware of what exactly fell off of his car, Verstappen seemed to have an idea as he once again butted in to tell the Ferrari driver “it was the sandbag.”

This response prompted laughter from the drivers and media, with the rivalry between Red Bull and Ferrari being a friendly one so far.

Ferrari derailed their own title charge last year with strategy and reliability problems last season but will be hoping to go one step further this year and win a championship.