Charles Leclerc Reveals How He Got His Ferrari F1 Teammate Carlos Sainz Addicted to Chess

Published 12/27/2021, 4:08 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrive for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


When Scuderia Ferrari teamed up Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz together for the 2021 season, there were fears of this particular partnership getting out of hand amidst the duo’s desperate hunger for success.

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However, the reality barely turned out dark as the two Ferrari drivers, instead, became best friends on and off the track. They would often travel to Grand Prix events on the same flight and enjoy their non-racing weekends together in the most fun way possible.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 21, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. play basketball ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Mike Blake

Amidst such an exciting relationship developing between Leclerc and Sainz, here’s something that helped glue their bond even stronger in 2021 – Chess.

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Yes, you read it right! During an interview, Leclerc revealed that he had gotten Sainz addicted to Chess during the early part of 2021, and the two have since been challenging each other for games every chance they get. Apparently, it started off a mere stress-buster, but, soon, the competitiveness somehow crept its way into the Ferrari duo.

What did Charles Leclerc say?

Speaking to Autosport, Leclerc revealed that Sainz once noticed him playing Chess and decided to download the app himself.

I’ve actually always been into it, I always liked chess as a child,” Leclerc said. “I think it was during all the media days at the beginning of the year, we didn’t know what to do and I was playing chess, and he saw me, and said OK, I’m downloading this.

We got quite crazy with it in the first part of the year. We played against each other, and we’ve never stopped,” the Monegasque added.

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Lando Norris, too, acknowledged Sainz’s obsession for Chess with Leclerc. “He freaking loves his chess with Charles,” the Briton said. “I think I might have beaten him in the first game, then I just quit! I might be wrong. He’d probably tell you I’m lying. He was playing like hours and hours of it, him and Charles. I never knew he played before.

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Overall, this is indeed a huge sigh of relief for Ferrari, as they haven’t been as lucky with the way their drivers treated each other in the past. Most have ended in rivalries, some even touching upon animosity. However, now, Leclerc and Sainz look to be sharing a bond that could be broken nowhere in the future.

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Rohit Kumar

1687 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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