Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz clarifies Charles Leclerc chat after tense Brazil GP battle

Carlos Sainz: Expert discusses decision by Ferrari

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Carlos Sainz has downplayed his Brazilian Grand Prix tussle with Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc and insisted there are no issues at the Italian giants. Sainz suffered a poor start while Leclerc flew out the blocks, and the two were often one another’s competition during the Sao Paulo race.

The Spaniard finished sixth in the end with the Monegasque finishing two seconds ahead in fifth. 

Sainz was seen confronting Leclerc after the race, leading to suggestions that the two teammates were frustrated with each other.

Asked by Sky Italia if he was speaking to the 24-year-old about their battle, Sainz simply said: “No.

“I just asked him how the car was for him today. No, don’t get the wrong idea.”

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Sainz admitted he was more frustrated with his own start, as he failed to take advantage of a P3 grid position.

The Spaniard erred with the starting procedure, with former McLaren teammate Lando Norris suffering a puncture after the Brit butchered a passing move on the Ferrari.

“At the start I shouldn’t have been fighting with Lando at Turn 1,” Sainz said. 

“I started very badly.

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“I think I did yesterday’s same procedure, I did everything in the same way, but for some reason we still have to understand we had a lot of wheel spin, which is one of those things that I don’t understand very well because I think the procedure was the same.

“So there’s something to understand there, then from there on I had a very good pace, good tyre management, but for some reason here overtaking is very difficult. I’ve been very fast all weekend but it’s like this.”

Sainz revealed he was not pleased with his performance at Interlagos, even though he brought home valuable points as Ferrari battle with McLaren to secure third-place in the Constructors’ Championship. 

In fact, the Italians opened up a sizeable gap over their rivals as Norris finished tenth and Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire due to engine failure.

“I wanted to finish in the top five,” Sainz added. “I think today the pace and everything was right to finish in the top five.

“I had a great pace today, I followed Charles all the race but with dirty air it was difficult to get closer than two seconds. That means we had a good pace but when you lose it all at the start for two weekends in a row, Mexico and here, when you’ve been faster all weekend, that leaves you a bad feeling.

“But it’s like this, we’ll keep pushing and improving. The important thing is that I’m fast, I’m improving every race and I’m giving myself good opportunities.”

Ferrari’s 18-point haul in Brazil means they now hold a 31.5-point advantage over McLaren with three races to go in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1 travels to the Losail Circuit for the Qatar Grand Prix on November 21, with Red Bull star Max Verstappen holding a 14-point lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

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