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Charles Leclerc Admits Carlos Sainz’s Victories Hurt Him as He Lost Two Opportunities to Win

Vidit Dhawan

Charles Leclerc Admits Carlos Sainz’s Victories Hurt Him as He Lost Two Opportunities to Win

Unlike other sports, in F1, a driver’s teammate is their biggest rival. They are the first person against whom one is compared, which is why drivers always strive to be the number one in their team. Charles Leclerc recently said something along similar lines, as he described his frustration at witnessing Carlos Sainz’s two victories since the start of 2023.

Sainz won the Singapore GP in 2023 and the Australian GP in 2024, two races Leclerc counts as missed opportunities. When asked if it was painful to watch the Madrid-born driver’s success, Leclerc said,

It hurts. And it’s a pleasure because, for the team, victory is important. But we feel bad about it personally, at least I do. Over those two weekends (Singapore and Melbourne), I wasn’t up to scratch. I lost those two opportunities“.

Leclerc later added that he lost those two races because of his poor qualifying performances. In Singapore, he qualified in P3 whereas Sainz got the pole. In Melbourne earlier this year, Sainz started from P2, three places ahead of the Monegasque.

Ahead of the Emilia-Romagna GP, Leclerc was P1 in both practice sessions on Friday. This makes his camp optimistic about grabbing the pole, which will hand him a massive advantage in his bid to win the race in Imola. It will also allow him to build a bigger gap to Sainz in the standings.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz’s tough intra-team battle

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have never been too far away from each other in terms of performance since the former joined Ferrari in 2021. The Madrid-born driver finished ahead of Leclerc in their first season together whereas the next two seasons saw Leclerc come out on top.

Their stint together as teammates will come to an end after 18 races as Lewis Hamilton comes in to replace Sainz at the end of the season. Leclerc will now have a tougher challenge on hand, because getting the better of the seven-time World Champion won’t be easy.

The focus for Leclerc, however, remains on himself and his performance. Earlier this week, he admitted to not wanting to hand out any favors to either Sainz or Hamilton. Having last won a race in 2022, Leclerc wants to change that as soon as possible; hopefully for him, this coming weekend.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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