Sainz/Leclerc will be ‘easy to control’

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz expects to be playing "catch-up" to Charles Leclerc in early 2021.

Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi believes the team’s future pairing of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be “easy to control”.

Sebastian Vettel will walk away from the team at the end of 2020 with Sainz taking his place for 2021.

Sainz could act as a No.2 to Leclerc, although the Spaniard denied that.

If that was the case it risks creating another difficult situation to manage like what has happened between Vettel and Leclerc.

But Alesi thinks Leclerc and Sainz will be a less explosive duo, since neither are a World Champion.

Asked on the Sky F1 Vodcast if he thought the duo would cause problems for Ferrari in 2021, he said: “It’s maybe the opposite. They will have something easy to control.

“They have two young kids, they have two professional drivers. Carlos, I understand, is a very hard worker and he has the experience with McLaren and Renault. He is coming from very experienced teams.

“So for the management it’s going to be easier to control these two drivers. When you have a world champion, when you have a charismatic driver, it’s very tough to make him soft.”

Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and unless he wins the title this year, then he will walk away from the team without adding to his four World Championships that he won at Red Bull.

And while Alesi says Vettel “failed” at Ferrari, he doesn’t think it is the German’s fault, or Ferrari’s.

“I have massive respect for Sebastian because [he is a] four-time world champion. He put his talent and everything into this challenge to be world champion with Ferrari, and he failed,” said Alesi.

“He failed but not because it’s his fault or not because it’s the fault of the team, something didn’t go well. I was actually very surprised of this move [being announced] before the championship had started.

“But that means a lot I think for someone like him to be brave enough to say ‘it’s enough, I will finish the season with Ferrari, but next year I don’t know what I will do’.

“But for sure something didn’t go like it was supposed to.”

Alesi feels that reason may be because Vettel didn’t bring Red Bull’s design chief Adrian Newey with him to Ferrari.

“When you welcome a World Champion like Sebastian, you want to give everything you can,” he said.

“The second thing is if you are able to. And when the team is now able to give what the champion is asking then the trouble starts.

“If I take the Michael Schumacher example, he took my place but he arrived with a full technical team. He worked with the same people he used to work [with at Benetton] to be World Champion. It took him four years to be World Champion, but it happened.

“Sebastian’s situation was different. He arrived in a team and he tried to teach and to bring the technical team to work as he wants. But he didn’t bring with him Adrian Newey, so that changed a lot.”

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