Carlos Sainz vs Charles Leclerc: Who’s Likely to Edge the Battle Between the Ferrari Duo

Published 01/03/2021, 7:25 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during practice Giuseppe Cacace/Pool via REUTERS

One team that’d certainly want to forget 2020 in a hurry would be Ferrari. The Maranello-based outfit are coming off a nightmare campaign where they failed to win a single race and only managed three podiums.


Article continues below this ad

They finished the season in sixth place with only 131 points. Charles Leclerc, who displayed his potential to the fullest in a really bad car, scored 98 of those points.

However, despite having a car very similar to that of last year, Ferrari’s spirits are high. For good reason, because of a really talented driver pairing in Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.


Article continues below this ad

Assuming reports of a more powerful engine are to be believed, along with the fact that some major chinks in last year’s armor have been ironed out, early expectations are that they’ll be able to battle it out at the front of the mid-field a lot more.


Early Sketches Detail Ferrari’s 2021 F1 Car with Positive Improvements: Reports

4 months ago

So, with that in mind, the focus will be on the two drivers. Both of them have the talent and maturity, and both have shown consistency too. But which one will most likely outshine the other?

Formula One F1. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrives at the Yas Marina Circuit Hamad I Mohammed/Pool via REUTERS

Realistic expectations for Ferrari F1’s teammate battle for 2021

In an ideal scenario, Ferrari would want both of their drivers contributing equally to the team’s success. However, in the world of F1, that’s unlikely.

Leclerc and Sainz are very good drivers, no doubt, but realistically, 2021 should see the Monegasque edge out the Spaniard whilst proving why he is one of the most mercurial drivers on the grid.

There are a few good reasons for Leclerc beating Sainz. Due to the coronavirus-enforced regulations, Ferrari’s 2021 machine would be similar to its predecessor.

In the aforementioned predecessor, Leclerc landed up completely outperforming the car, not to mention his teammate, a four-time world champion.

Formula One F1. Sakhir Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. after qualifying in eighth position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

So, with an improved SF21, Leclerc should be comfortable right from the outset. Sainz, on the other hand, might experience a few struggles during the first few races before coming into his own later.


Article continues below this ad

This should give the Monegasque the upper hand on the championship table early on, and you can bet he won’t be looking back from then on. Ferrari might go on to make some questionable decisions, as evidenced in previous seasons, and Sainz might get red hot at the back end of the season.

In the end, Leclerc should be able to edge out his teammate, both in races and in qualifying, and his performances would result in him scoring more points than Sainz, come the end of the campaign.


Article continues below this ad

Comment below on your assessment of the teammate battle between Leclerc and Sainz for 2021.


Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.