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“Carlos Sainz has debunked the Charles Leclerc mystery”: Red Bull chief feels that the Spaniard’s performances in 2021 have diminished the Monegasque’s hype

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Sun Jan 09 2022


Red Bull chief Helmut Marko feels that Charles Leclerc will be under immense pressure in 2022 because of Carlos Sainz’s impactful arrival.

Carlos Sainz’s first season in Ferrari colours has been lauded by fans and pundits worldwide. The 27-year old settled into his new team faster than anyone predicted and ended the season with 4 podium finishes.

Charles Leclerc himself had a decent season with the Maranello based team. His best performance came in the form of a P2 finish at Silverstone. However, the Monegasque suffered due to a lack of consistency and constant bad luck throughout the year.

He was set for pole position in Monaco and would most likely have gotten his 3rd F1 race win, but a crash in the final sector during Qualifying in his home race put him out of contention.

In the end, Leclerc finished P7 in the drivers’ standings, 5.5 points behind Sainz in P5. McLaren driver Lando Norris separated the two teammates with a P6 place finish.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko feels that Sainz took the F1 grid by surprise in 2021. He expects Leclerc to be under pressure to match the Spaniard’s consistency come next season.

Also read: “Ferrari are under a lot of pressure”: Why 2022 is going to be a make or break year for the Scuderia

Red Bull aim to finish the 2022 season as World Champions

Marko feels that the likes of McLaren and Ferrari will probably have a strong 2022 season, with the exciting drivers they have at their disposal.

However, he insists that the only title challengers would be Red Bull and Mercedes drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

“The declared goal is the World Championship title,” Marko said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.

“Mercedes and we have the potential, the people and the continuity. That again speaks for a duel at the highest level. Especially as with Hamilton and Verstappen, no other driver is coming along.”

“The closest to them is Norris. Leclerc was, so to speak, debunked by Sainz,” the 78-year old added.

Also read: Red Bull and Max Verstappen expected to have a slow start in 2022


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