‘Not as blessed’ Carlos Sainz has caused a problem for Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has retired from three races this season, two of which occurred following contact with another driver.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has warned Charles Leclerc that he’s “at a crossroads”, with Carlos Sainz having become Ferrari’s number one driver in the German’s eyes.

2023 has been a frustrating season for Leclerc, who has lacked consistency compared to Sainz.

For the second time in the last three years, Sainz has very much been the better Ferrari driver, with him currently sitting fifth in the Drivers’ Championship and 15 points ahead of Leclerc.

As well as currently being the lead Ferrari driver in the standings, he’s also the only non-Red Bull driver to have won a race this season, something he recently did at the Singapore Grand Prix.

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Sainz did incredibly well to convert pole into victory in Singapore, not long after he claimed pole at the team’s home race in Italy.

Ahead of Singapore, the 29-year-old stormed to pole at the Italian Grand Prix, before beating Leclerc in a late duel to third place.

Whilst Schumacher believes Leclerc is the more talented driver out of himself and Sainz, the German thinks the Monegasque is simply pushing too hard to try and “make the difference”, resulting in driver errors.

Leclerc has retired from three races this season, two of which occurred following contact with other drivers.

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Sainz on the other hand, has retired just the once this campaign and has developed a real sense of momentum.

The Spaniard did recently finish behind Leclerc at the Japanese Grand Prix, although neither finished on the podium.

Based on their current form, Schumacher thinks that Leclerc isn’t as “level-headed” as Sainz, resulting in him not making the most of his “eternal talent”.

“Leclerc is now a bit at a crossroads,” Schumacher said on the Formel1.de YouTube channel.

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“He has to look [at himself] now because there’s no point being the eternal talent who is super-fast but doesn’t get it right in the end.

“[He] wants to take the crowbar and fight. Charles wants to make the difference with all his might and then runs over his car and also makes mistakes. Sainz is more level-headed.

“Sainz is not as blessed with talent as Leclerc, I’m pretty sure of that. [But he is] the more rounded package because he simply feels comfortable.”