Charles Leclerc Lauds Sacrificial Sainz for His Qualifying Heroics at Turkish GP

Published 10/09/2021, 11:39 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. during qualifying REUTERS/Umit Bektas


Charles Leclerc may have secured an astonishing P3 on the grid for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, but the Monegasque was not having a great time through Q1 and Q2, especially with the track still being quite damp in patches.

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What’s more, he was on the verge of dropping out of the top 10, but, crucially, help arrived in the form of his teammate, Carlos Sainz. It was initially quite bizarre to see the Spaniard exiting the pit lane, considering he had the burden of engine penalty on his head, and there was absolutely no point in wasting tires in qualifying.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 7, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during a press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sedat Suna

But, then, the intention was clear. Sainz lined himself up perfectly on the back straight and ended up offering his teammate the much-needed tow to secure a spot in Q3. Unsurprisingly, Leclerc took to the team radio to thank Sainz for the favor.

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Is it enough?” he asked. And his race engineer replied, “It is enough!

Hence, knowing that he was safely into the final part of qualifying, he couldn’t resist but thank the Spaniard for the help. “Good job from Carlos for the slipstream!” Leclerc said.

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Charles Leclerc appreciates Sainz’s help post-qualifying

During the post-qualifying interview in the paddock, Leclerc acknowledged that he was struggling under damp conditions as he had opted for a low downforce set-up.

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It was a little bit scary, obviously. We opted for a low downforce setup today which ultimately is going to pay off for tomorrow, I hope, if it’s sunny. But, in those conditions, in Q1 and Q2, I was struggling, and I was sliding a lot,” the Ferrari driver said.

So, it was great to see that Carlos was here to help me in Q2. Having the traffic in the last sector was not easy and him giving me the slipstream definitely helped me. So, yeah, great teamwork to get to Q3 and a great lap in Q3 to put it in P4.

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Overall, the late sunshine in Q3 also played a crucial role in helping Leclerc snatch the P4 from Pierre Gasly. And the fact that Lewis Hamilton bears the 10-place grid penalty, the Monegasque will be promoted up to P3. So, how is Leclerc going to fare on Sunday? Will Ferrari’s straight-line speed help Leclerc fight for the win?

Watch Story: Hamilton Shines as Verstappen Struggles:Best Moments From F1 Practice Sessions of Turkish GP

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Rohit Kumar

1264 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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