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“Need Him Out of Ferrari”: Carlos Sainz’s Shameless Antics After Charles Leclerc’s Honorable Gesture Infuriates Fans

Published 09/24/2023, 8:05 AM EDT

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As much as Formula 1 might look like an individual sport, it’s not. Take the 2023 Constructors’ Championship as an example. Had it not been for both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, could Red Bull have won the title? Considering Verstappen’s form, yes. But would it have won the title at the Japanese GP? In all probability, no. Red Bull may not have been the best example to explain this. Take the 2023 Singapore GP. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz became the first non-Red Bull driver to win a race this season. Had it not been for Charles Leclerc, Sainz wouldn’t have gotten his second career victory.

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With Red Bull struggling and Sainz on pole, Leclerc qualified in P3. Every team other than Red Bull knew Singapore would likely be their only chance to secure a win in 2023. With Sainz having the best opportunity to do so, Leclerc sacrificed his own race before it even began by opting to start on the soft tires. He played the team game throughout, ensuring that Carlos won the race. While Sainz was the Tifosi’s hero last weekend, he’s become more of an enemy after the Japanese GP.

Carlos Sainz “was sacrificed” during the Japanese GP


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At Ferrari, qualifying positions play a determining role in which driver gets preference on Sunday. Almost entirely through the first half of the season, Leclerc had the upper hand on Sainz in qualifying. As a result, he was favored on Sunday even if Sainz had been the faster driver. After the summer break, though, Carlos seemed to have the advantage over Charles, and the Monegasque was forced to play second fiddle just like he did in Singapore.

At Sukuza, the tables turned, and Leclerc qualified in P4, with Sainz in P6. Straight off the bat on Sunday, Leclerc maintained his place ahead of Sainz. After the first few laps, the Ferrari boys were against the Mercedes boys. At the end of the first stint, Lewis Hamilton pitted before the Ferraris, but the undercut didn’t work, and he was behind them in the second stint. With Leclerc, Sainz, and Hamilton in P4, P5, and P6, the Monegasque and the Brit made their second stop on the same lap, undercutting Sainz. After the Spaniard pitted, he came out behind Hamilton, where he crossed the line.


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In an interview with Sky Sports after the race, Sainz said, “The pace was really good, I had a great feeling today. It’s a shame about the last stop, which made me lose my place with Hamilton. But the team wanted to defend Charles, and for this, I was sacrificed.” Although what he said was true, the Tifosi didn’t take too well to Sainz treating himself as the victim. This one statement triggered the Tifosi to unleash their wrath on their Singapore hero.

Carlos Sainz is the “most annoying driver ever”

A week ago, Carlos Sainz was the apple of every Ferrari fan’s eye. This weekend, he’s the most annoying driver ever. What changed? His attitude. When Leclerc played the team game in Singapore, the Monegasque didn’t talk about his—rather honorable—sacrifice. What the Tifosi are infuriated about is that Sainz took the decision to stay out himself and then played the martyr.

Ferrari fans’ annoyance with Sainz started as soon as the Japanese GP weekend kicked off. A while ago, he said he’d always been comfortable driving the SF-23. But then, in Suzuka, he said, “Honestly, I don’t feel like the car has come anywhere near what I want or what I like. The car is still a tricky car to drive. It’s still a car that hasn’t given us an easy time this year.” This, followed by his “sacrifice” comment, made Tifosi call him shameless and a liar.

In a cutthroat sport like F1, it’s okay to look out for yourself. But Sainz’s two-faced behavior isn’t doing his reputation any good amongst the Tifosi. 

Sainz isn’t technically a pay driver. Yes, his father had some influence on how he got into F1. Even so, this comment will hurt. With his father’s recent outburst about Ferrari’s bias toward Leclerc and the rising tensions between the two drivers, one fan pointed out how the Spaniard is making the environment toxic.

If his results are good and they aren’t affecting Leclerc, should that really lead to Sainz’s ouster? Instead of waiting for Ferrari to make its decision, one fan gave their verdict on Sainz’s future on their own.


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And that led to this:


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WATCH THIS STORY | Is Carlos Sainz Looking to Move Away from Ferrari?

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan


One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar