Ex F1 Champion Warns Leclerc at Ferrari: Sainz ‘Can Be Very Annoying’

Published 04/08/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
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


Ferrari ran a solid race in Bahrain to start off their season. The team’s ace driver Charles Leclerc was the one who got the higher praise, mostly thanks to his brilliance in qualifying. However, their new recruit Carlos Sainz had a pretty good race himself, finishing in P8. He typically snuck under the radar, but there were optimistic signs. This makes former world champion Jacques Villeneuve believe that the Spaniard can give Leclerc a few headaches.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Villeneuve said (translated by Google), “For Charles the real danger is Sainz.”

The Spaniard may not possess the same amount of raw talent as Leclerc, but he does have a lot more experience on his side. Moreover, he comes to Ferrari on the back of two great seasons with McLaren where he really caught the eye of fans.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

MONTE CARLO, MONACO. Carlos Sainz Jr. of McLaren F1 Team in the paddock.  F1 Grand Prix of Monaco. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Besides, Sainz is also one of the hardest working drivers on the grid and it’s only a matter of time before he comes good, lest a prestigious team like Ferrari wouldn’t have taken him in if they didn’t see something special. Villeneuve also shares a similar outlook.

Villeneuve can envision Carlos Sainz pestering Charles Leclerc at Ferrari

Although the Italian team may not admit it, from the outside looking in, there is definitely a clear number 1 and number 2 driver. But Villeneuve believes Sainz is capable of giving his teammate and the Maranello-based outfit some food for thought.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari prepares to drive in the garage. F1 Grand Prix of Hungary. Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

He said, “Carlos has never been in such an important team: he has built up over time, he arrives with determination and experience, he is used to confronting fast teammates. He’s cold, he’s studying, he can be very annoying to Charles.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Carlos certainly has held his ground facing the likes of Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, and Lando Norris as his teammates. So he wouldn’t be too fazed against Leclerc, as Villeneuve rightly pointed out.

It may take a while for Sainz to get used to the SF21 and the new environment, but his showing in Bahrain would have been a confidence booster. Now it’s up to him on how he can build up from there on. Can he be the surprise package at Imola? We shall soon see.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

‘McLaren Looks After You’- Hakkinen Warns Carlos Sainz of ‘Isolation’ at Ferrari

23 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ronan Carvalho

987 articles

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT