Carlos Sainz believes it is right that Ferrari has not appointed a number one driver in recent years. The Ferrari driver states that Charles Leclerc and he are always close to each other, but that this has not yet led to any problems. Sainz states that every team should be happy with two drivers who manage to finish close to each other, especially if both drivers have respect for each other.
Sainz and Leclerc are both under contract with Ferrari until the end of the upcoming season. Italian media have made it clear that Ferrari will extend the contract with Leclerc anyway, but that there are obstacles in the negotiations with Sainz. Frédéric Vasseur has said several times that the driver’s contracts are not yet a priority. but Sainz may be looking at other options. Audi in particular is frequently mentioned, as his father drives for that team in the Dakar Rally.
However, Vasseur has indicated that he does not want to choose between Leclerc and Sainz. The team boss indicates that both drivers are treated equally at the Scuderia. Sainz understands his team’s choice. “I think all other teams will see it as a strength for Ferrari,” the Spaniard told AS. “I don’t know if there will be a side in the media or among the fans who think that having two fast drivers, sitting close to each other, is a negative thing.”
Sainz praises respect between him and Leclerc
Last year Leclerc managed to beat his teammate. The Monegasque finished fifth in the championship, six points ahead of Sainz, who finished seventh. The Madrid native knows that Formula 1 teams like to have drivers who are close to each other. ‘They will tell you that you should always have the fastest two. If they respect each other, there will be no problems. I don’t dare say whether we are the two fastest drivers, but we respected each other.’
During last year’s Italian Grand Prix, things became tense between both drivers. Leclerc was told by the team not to take any risks, but the Monegasque still tried to force an overtake on Sainz. Nevertheless, the Spaniard is pleased with the mutual relationship. ‘We have been teammates for three years and there has been no incident on the track. We went to all races fourth and fifth, first and second, always close together,” said Sainz.