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The Chinese GP weekend was one to forget for Ferrari, not just in terms of the performance, but also because of what happened between their drivers throughout the weekend. Seems like there is real friction between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, as the duo seems to want to beat each other at every step. Carlos Sainz, who wants to prove that Ferrari made a mistake, and Charles Leclerc, who wants to prove that Ferrari made the right choice by retaining him. And now Sainz has come out to blame Leclerc for the Chinese GP shenanigans.

Carlos Sainz has been performing like the lead driver at Ferrari since the start of the season, beating Leclerc in qualifying and races. However, it reached a point of breakout yesterday during the sprint race, where after a collision with Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz did not let Charles Leclerc by, despite having a damaged car, and pushed the Monegasque off track as Leclerc tried to overtake him on the outside. And looks like Leclerc took his revenge today. 

Ferrari started the race in P6 and P7, with Leclerc being the one ahead. Both Ferraris got an okay start, but Sainz tried to make a move on the outside of Leclerc into turn 1, who defended by going wide and letting George Russell and Nico Hulkenberg through, causing both Ferraris to drop down two positions. Had it not been for spending time behind Russell for the first quarter or so of the race, the results could’ve been different for the Maranello-based team. 

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Later, during the post-race interviews, Carlos Sainz was asked by Craig Slater if Leclerc’s defense on Lap 1 today was a reply to Sainz’s move and aggressiveness during the sprint. To this, Sainz replied, “I prefer not to comment. But, it’s obviously, quite clear that it cost us both two positions. It didn’t help either of us.”

But it wasn’t only after the main race that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz slammed each other. The incidents that took place during the Sprint were much worse and had a much stronger response from the drivers. 

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Charles Leclerc calls Carlos Sainz out for being “too Aggressive”

While Carlos Sainz apologized for being too aggressive if Leclerc felt that way, the Monegasque chose violence with words as he called Sainz out on the radio for racing him rather than the competitors, and during the post-race interviews, suggested that Sainz was out of line and was just overly aggressive for the way he pushed the Monegasque off track during the Sprint race

Charles Leclerc, in a post-race interview, said, “I think it was aggressive. Maybe Carlos and I were a bit too aggressive. I think Carlos was a bit over the limit today. In the past, we had fights where sometimes I was over the limit and sometimes he was over the limit. Today was on his side. We have to discuss, like we always do. But we have a great relationship with Carlos. So I have no worries; I think we clear the air very quickly.”

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via Reuters

How do you think the dynamic and relationship between the Ferrari drivers will change after the Chinese GP?

Written by

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay is an F1 Content Analyst and writer at EssentiallySports who effortlessly blends his technical knowledge and passion for F1 in his writing. He has a knack for unique content research and specializes in trend-setting articles. Pranay’s coverage of the departure of Guenther Steiner from Haas received appreciation from readers.
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Edited by

Ariva Debnath