Carlos Sainz shares unusual Charles Leclerc nickname in hilarious radio exchange

Henry Valantine
Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. February 2022.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz look at each other while wearing 2023 Ferrari race suits.

Carlos Sainz took to team radio during the live shakedown of the Ferrari SF-23 to ask Charles Leclerc about his thoughts on the new car, and nicknamed him “Lord Perceval” in the process.

The launch of the 2023 Ferrari was something to behold, with the Scuderia hosting fans in a grandstand at their in-house test track, Fiorano, as Leclerc and Sainz spoke ahead of the covers being taken off the SF-23.

But along with it came the announcement that the first laps with the new car would also be taken live at the launch itself, with a video showing team principal Fred Vasseur doing a coin flip as to which driver would get the honour of driving the car first.

The coin landed with Leclerc’s number facing up so he got the honour of doing so, with Sainz being allowed an extra initial lap in the car as a way of making up for having to go second.

But while Leclerc was taking the SF-23 for its first flying run around Fiorano, the team played out live radio from within the garage as his team-mate asked how the new machinery was handling, including a fun nickname and a sarcastic back-and-forth between the two Ferrari drivers.

Sainz: “Lord Perceval, how is the car? Do you like it?”

Leclerc: “Hello mate! Can I do one more lap?”

Sainz: “No, no, no – box, box, box, box, box, it’s my turn! It’s my turn.”

Leclerc: “It feels good, I think we have started well because I am pretty sure we are the fastest on track, so that’s a good sign already. Everything feels good, mate.”

Sainz: “You are P1 for the morning.”

Leclerc: “P1, baby!” recommends

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Sainz has since taken in three laps of the SF-23 as he had the opportunity to try the new car for himself, and Leclerc enthused about having the opportunity to drive in front of loyal Ferrari fans after their 2023 challenger was launched.

“It feels good, the first kilometres with this new project after doing so many kilometres on the simulator,” Leclerc said after his two-lap run.

“It feels special, so everything went smoothly. Obviously, with two laps, it’s difficult to go into details but I already gave my feedback once I was in the car there to the engineers to get the first feeling. The car was running well, smooth, everything went really well.

“It’s amazing to have a grandstand in Fiorano with all the tifosi here. There are also loads of tifosi up at the bridge. It is very, very special to see all the support on a day like this.

“I don’t think it happens to any other teams and that’s why it’s so special. Thanks to all the tifosi around the world that are helping us and pushing us in the good moments, but especially in the bad moments too. I really hope that this season will be an amazing one.”