Sainz explains when Ferrari may opt to back one driver

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz serious talk Charles Leclerc. Bahrain March 2022

Carlos Sainz serious talk Charles Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton in the background. Bahrain March 2022

Carlos Sainz says there may come a time either he or Charles Leclerc will be called upon to “help” the other in the championship fight.

For now, though, they are free to race.

Arriving on the Bahrain grid, Ferrari downplayed their chances of success only to walk away with the 1-2, Leclerc taking the chequered flag ahead of Sainz.

The Spaniard did benefit from Max Verstappen’s late-race problems, overtaking the Red Bull driver moments before he was forced to retire his RB18.

The 1-2 result was Ferrari’s first since 2019 with team boss Mattia Binotto adamant they won’t know for another three or four races if they have a genuine shot at the World title.

That comes with a different set of problems for Ferrari, do they throw all their efforts behind one driver or do they allow the team-mates to race until such a time as one of them is not mathematically in the fight.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking in parc ferme with a cameraman in the background. Bahrain March 2022

“The team will allow us to compete and race each other,” Scuderiafans quotes Sainz as having told Spanish radio sport’ program, The Great Match of COPE.

“Obviously, if one of us stands out and gains a lead in the standings, the other one will help during the World Championship fight.

“It happens in all teams. What matters is taking part in the battle.

“The ideal situation would be to compete for the title between us without having the pressure of other teams.”

He added: “I want to be at the top.”

Sainz, though, isn’t yet sure if Ferrari are.

Although they started the season with a 1-2 result, the former Red Bull-backed driver says Ferrari cannot write off their rivals especially Max Verstappen and the Mercedes drivers.

“Even if we brought both cars to the podium in the opening weekend we cannot exclude anyone from the fight,” he said.

“Mercedes will be back, Max Verstappen could also have won.

“I therefore believe that it will be a three-way battle for the title.

“We need to stay focused and try to develop the car correctly. Mercedes and Red Bull will improve rapidly.”


He added: “I’ll try to enjoy the year.

“It is the first time that it seems I will be able to count on a title-winning car. I’ll try to get into the fight and I think I’ll have fun.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Sainz on when team orders may come into play

Carlos Sainz has stated that Ferrari are allowing the two drivers to race each other.