Leclerc’s frustration is understandable: ‘We also saw it with Verstappen last year’

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Leclerc's frustration is understandable: 'We also saw it with Verstappen last year'

Carlos Sainz is perhaps the positive surprise of the season so far. The Spaniard only completed two races and was twice too fast for teammate Charles Leclerc. That led to frustration among the Monegasque, and according to Christijan Albers that can only be a good thing. The former Formula 1 driver is therefore not yet participating in the Sainz polonaise.

Sainz already knows that after the current season he will have to make way at Ferrari for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Brit comes over from Mercedes, but has had a terrible start to the season. His eight points give him a provisional tenth place in the championship, with Yuki Tsunoda and Oliver Bearman two points behind. Sainz has started the season excellently. The Ferrari driver missed the race in Saudi Arabia, but won in Australia.

Extenuating circumstances for Leclerc

However, Albers thinks that Leclerc is still the faster of the two drivers. ‘Sainz did very well in qualifying. He has defeated the qualifying beast,” Albers begins in the De Telegraaf podcast. ‘If you analyze the race, Leclerc had a set of tires that he didn’t feel good on. In the last stint Leclerc was also a lot faster than Sainz’, Albers points out. Analyst Jolyon Palmer had a different interpretation: according to the Brit, Sainz was very fast, but he no longer went all out in the last stint.

“Leclerc was initially locked behind the McLarens, and as a result the gap to Sainz increased,” Albers explains Leclerc’s deficit. ‘Ferrari was therefore forced to make pit stops earlier, to find free air. In that last stint he was significantly faster. So you have to qualify well. But to say that it was not a good choice to let Sainz go?’ Albers questions all fans who question Ferrari’s choice after the opening races. “He is consistent in Bahrain and consistent in Melbourne, but the pure speed is still better with Leclerc than with Sainz, but perhaps the car suits Sainz better than Leclerc.”

Grumpy at Leclerc

Reporter Erik van Haren saw Leclerc in the hotel afterwards and laughs that the Monegasque didn’t really seem to be in a good mood. “You just go crazy when your teammate beats you,” Albers says that Sainz is Leclerc’s biggest competitor. “We also saw that with Max Verstappen last year.” To his frustration, Verstappen finished behind his teammate in Azerbaijan. ‘The drivers then get a bit angry. It shows that they are real fighters and that they really go for it.’

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