Sainz: ‘Wonderful’ Leclerc relationship couldn’t be better

Finley Crebolder
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Silverstone July 2021

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz laughing on the grid. Silverstone July 2021

Carlos Sainz says he “couldn’t ask for anything better” than the relationship he has with team-mate Charles Leclerc. 

There has been precious little to choose between the two in their first year alongside one another at Ferrari, with Leclerc just five and a half points ahead with five rounds to go.

Despite how close the intra-team battle has been though, the two haven’t clashed on or off the track once and have seemingly gotten on well with each other.

In fact, the Spaniard says their relationship couldn’t be better and that they actually spend a lot of time together outside of F1.

“Wonderful, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” he told Esquire when asked how the relationship was.

“Since we spend a lot of time together it’s important to get along personally as well, and that’s definitely the case with us.

“We do a lot of things together: play chess, padel, golf, etcetera.”

Sainz’s decision to leave McLaren for Ferrari was a surprise to many given how much stronger the British outfit was last season, but his faith in the Scuderia has paid off, with them very much being a match for his former team this year.

He’s happy with the call he made and feels that joining the Italian team was a “fundamental” moment in his career and life.

“For me it was a dream come true,” he said.

“It was a very important step in my career, I would say fundamental: sooner or later becoming a Ferrari driver is every driver’s dream. I managed to do it at the age of twenty-six and my life has changed since then.

“I want to give the best to this team and help get them back to the top.”


In joining Ferrari, Sainz followed in the footsteps of his compatriot and idol, Fernando Alonso, who drove for the team from 2010 to 2014.

He has often spoken about his admiration for the 40-year-old and says that watching him race growing up was a big reason he decided to pursue an F1 career rather than do rallying like his father.

“This is simple: when you start, when you are five years old, you drive a go-kart, and a go-kart is much more similar to a Formula One car than to a rally, because it is a single-seater…” he said when asked why he chose F1.

“Moreover, when I was little, I used to watch Fernando Alonso on TV, winning the world championships with Renault, and my dream was to become a Formula One driver when I was ten.

“Now Fernando is my direct competitor, incredible!”


Ferrari hot on McLaren's heels

Ferrari are now only three and a half points behind McLaren in the Constructor's Championship.