Carlos Sainz explains benefit of Fred Vasseur-Charles Leclerc relationship for Ferrari

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc on parade track. Hungary July 2022

Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc on parade track. Hungary July 2022

Rather than a disadvantage for him, Carlos Sainz says the strong relationship between Charles Leclerc and Fred Vasseur will help Ferrari.

With the turn of the year, Ferrari’s new team principal Vasseur will be getting stuck into the task, following the resignation of Mattia Binotto from the position.

And Vasseur is someone who has past experience with both of Ferrari’s drivers, Leclerc and Sainz.

For Leclerc, Vasseur was his team boss at Sauber in 2018, Leclerc’s rookie season and the one which impressed Ferrari enough to promote their junior driver into their line-up for 2019.

Sainz’s connection meanwhile was less well known, the Spaniard revealing that Vasseur had previously tried to sign him to Renault during his stint as team boss there.

Nonetheless, there is a feeling among some that Sainz could be put at a disadvantage by the relationship between Vasseur and Leclerc, in terms of his position in the pecking order against his team-mate.

Sainz though does not look at it this way at all. Instead, he believes that past connection between Vasseur and Leclerc will simply help the new boss to settle into life at Ferrari faster, a boost for the team therefore.

Asked by Autosprint if it is a worry that Leclerc has already worked with Vasseur, Sainz replied: “No, because I don’t think I’m starting from scratch.

“I am sure I will get on well with him and that he will be happy with me when he sees me working, my relationship with the team and with Charles. I think his well-established relationship with Leclerc will also be very useful for everyone to speed up his acclimatisation here.”

Binotto’s Ferrari exit has split opinions between those weighing in on it, with Vasseur arriving as someone who has never experienced running a team that is competing at the front of the Formula 1 grid, never mind one with the kind of associated pressure that Ferrari has.

Sainz though believes that Vasseur is indeed the right person to take over from Binotto.

“Yes, from what I’ve been told and the way I’ve got to know him, I think he’s the right man,” said Sainz. “Everyone knows him in the paddock and I’m sure he will do well.

“There will be a period of adaptation, but Fred knows Formula 1 and also Ferrari very well. Now there will be this preparation phase and then we will start working with him at full speed.”

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