Sainz fired warning about trying to outperform Leclerc at Ferrari

Carlos Sainz is fifth in the Drivers' Championship, 67 points behind leader Max Verstappen.

Giedo van der Garde believes that Carlos Sainz needs to relax more, as he is putting too much emphasis on beating Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.

The Spaniard has suffered a series of mistakes and reliability failures so far in 2022, and is yet to win a race after not quite finding the necessary performance in his F1-75 yet.

He has been out-qualified by Leclerc in all of the opening eight rounds of the year, and his four podium finishes have yielded a best result of second as he continues to await his maiden race win.

READ: Leclerc feeling ‘defeated’ against ‘strong and aggressive’ Verstappen

Van der Garde, who raced for Caterham in 2013, reckons that the 27-year-old needs to take a step back and stop trying so hard to out-do Leclerc, which has possibly been the cause of one or two of his errors this year.

“He somehow doesn’t manage it. I also think he is putting too much pressure on himself by wanting to beat Leclerc,” the Dutchman said.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in Miami 2022.v1

“[Leclerc] is in a nice flow, especially on Saturday, It is then difficult for Sainz to come close. I think there is too much pressure on him.”

In Baku last weekend, both Sainz and Leclerc failed to finish the race after suffering reliability failures, and it enabled Max Verstappen to lead home Sergio Perez for Red Bull’s third one-two of the season.

It follows on from the Monegasque’s retirement in Spain after a different failure there, and the strategic error from the Scuderia that cost him a place even on the podium in Monaco having started on pole.

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“At Ferrari, they just screw up,” said van der Garde.

There have been 10 different failures for Ferrari-powered cars in the last three race weekends, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, as well as the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, all suffering from reliability problems at some stage.

READ: Mercedes reveal why Hamilton’s seat ‘felt cold’ at 2022 Azerbaijan GP

They have all been different failures though, so it is difficult to say whether there is an ingrained problem at Maranello, or whether there have been a series of isolated, unfortunate incidents.

“That is difficult to estimate,” stated van der Garde.

“They had a problem with the power unit in Spain, although it was more the turbo. In Baku, you could really hear the engine stalling. It’s tough for them at the moment.

“You see them pushing the limit, so they are now going over that. 

“Sainz also retired with a hydraulic problem, which is just painful. It’s sour in a weekend when they could have been on the podium together.”

Leclerc has now failed to convert four consecutive pole positions, and he will aiming to avoid matching Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2002 record of five at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.