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via Reuters

Charles Leclerc suffered in the Canadian GP, and how. His SF24 was ridden with a strange power unit that remained incomprehensible to him until his eventual retirement. Though his teammate Carlos Sainz complained of no similar issue, he was struggling more than the Monegasque. But because of bigger events in the race and Leclerc’s continuous frustration over the team radio, Sainz’s poor performance went under the radar.

Coming into Montreal, Ferrari was declared the favorite by its rivals. But the tables turned as both drivers in the scarlet red got knocked out in Q2 on Saturday. On Sunday, Leclerc was losing nearly a second per lap as his Ferrari seemed “very difficult to drive”. Sainz, on the other hand, had several opportunities to bring home some points for Ferrari, but to no avail. His lack of oneness with the Montreal track eventually saw him spin out of the race and take Alex Albon down with him.

Addressing Sainz’s failure on the Red Flags F1 podcast, host Brian Muller said, “They were talking about Leclerc’s engine problem all day and I was like, Sainz is two places behind him. Does he have an engine problem?” Co-host Matt Elisofon chimed in, revealing how temporary the Spaniard’s form has been. “This is what I hate about Sainz fans. When he has these flashy wins, they’re like ‘You fired the wrong guy’,” he said, referring to Ferrari axing him for Lewis Hamilton.

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Elisofon elaborated, saying, “When they replace Carlos Sainz with Lewis Hamilton and you’re upset, you are essentially saying Carlos Sainz is the best driver in the world, which he’s clearly not. He was out-qualified by Leclerc yet again and he was running behind Leclerc even without an engine problem.”

via Reuters

That’s how quickly the tide changes in F1. The hero of the Australian GP finds himself in the place of a struggling midfield driver only 6 race weekends later. But his self-awareness and sportsmanship didn’t allow him to brush the failure off without acknowledging it.

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Carlos Sainz apologizes to Ferrari after a “race to forget” in Canada

After the qualifying fiasco on Saturday, both Ferrari drivers admitted to having a lack of grip. In the same way everything went right for them in Monaco, everything collapsed in Canada. A double DNF was the last thing on Ferrari’s minds. Carlos Sainz was still the only one with a scoring chance but succumbed to the changing weather conditions and the kerbs.

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A race to forget for the team,” the Spaniard wrote in an Instagram post. “The entire weekend has been on the edge for us. I tried to push on the DRS train to overtake and did a mistake on the kerb. Sorry to the team [Ferrari] and to Albon. We now need to understand what happened here and move on.”

Ferrari’s last double DNF was at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP. The Spanish GP up next is Sainz’s home race. Ferrari would hope that they have endured a season’s worth of troubles in the same weekend. After all, they are championship contenders this year.