Carlos Sainz ‘sending facts’ not ‘little messages’ to Charles Leclerc in Ferrari fight

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz embrace after Ferrari's one-two finish at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz embrace.

Stamping his authority over his team-mate with a simple pass in Japan, Carlos Sainz is not just sending “little messages” to Charles Leclerc, he’s sending him “facts”.

With three podiums in three starts, including the victory at the Australian Grand Prix, Sainz may be behind Leclerc in the Drivers’ standings having missed Saudi Arabia after an appendectomy, but he’s ahead of him on the track.

‘Carlos Sainz is not sending those messages, now he is sending facts’

Additional reporting by Pablo Hidalgo

Dropped by Ferrari even before the first race of the season, the intra-team Ferrari tussle was always going to be an interesting one with pundits split as to whether Sainz would quietly slip into a number two role or stand defiant in the face of his axing.

He’s clearly opted for the latter.

The Spaniard added to his growing tally of top-three results at the Japanese Grand Prix, a race that included an on-track overtake on Leclerc as he swept past him to beat him to the podium.

It was, according to leading Spanish commentator, Antonio Lobato, more than just a message to Leclerc.

“Inside Ferrari,” he told Soymotor. “Carlos has something more in qualifying. Charles did a great race, we have to admit that. But Carlos is more solid and he is more at ease with the Ferrari at the moment.

“Since he was a kid, his father always told him that even if he didn’t win, he always had to send little ‘messages’.

“He is not sending those messages any longer. Now he is sending facts. And that’s the reward for all his work. He deserves it. Lots of teams will want to have him.”

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Tom Coronel: It has that bite

Dutch pundit Tom Coronel reckons this year’s Ferrari tussle has some “bite” to it.

Impressed with Sainz’s performances despite the pressure of having to audition one race weekend after another as he seeks a new team for the 2025 championship, the pundit told Viaplay: “It has that bite.

“And what I think is very cool is that he is doing all this while he does not yet have a seat for next year.

Sainz, who is hoping to have his future resolved “sooner rather than later”, has been linked to Mercedes and Red Bull but once again it seems it is Audi who are leading the running as Mercedes and Red Bull are in no hurry to decide their 2025 line-ups.

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