Leclerc ‘really, really’ hopes Sainz can lend a hand

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz shake hands after qualifying. Spain May 2022

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz shake hands after qualifying, Max Verstappen in the background. Spain May 2022

With Carlos Sainz right behind him on the Barcelona grid, Charles Leclerc hopes his team-mate can “really, really” help in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Even better would be if Ferrari can secure the 1-2.

Leclerc will start Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix from pole position, the Ferrari driver beating Max Verstappen by three-tenths of a second in Saturday’s qualifying.

Verstappen, though, was hamstrung by a DRS problem on his final flying lap that meant he wasn’t able to defend his provisional pole.

As such he’ll start from second place with the other Ferrari of Sainz P3 on the grid.

Leclerc hopes his team-mate can get involved in the battle for the victory, or at least the lead off the line.

“I really, really hope so,” he said.

“I hope we can do a one-two together with Carlos. It will be great for the team. And yeah, we’ll give it our all.”

Ferrari have lagged behind Red Bull in the past two grands prix, off the long-run pace of the RB18 at Imola and again in Miami.

Leclerc believes they found “something” during Saturday’s final practice that will hopefully give them the edge.

“We’ve done a bit of a long run, which was much better compared to Friday,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have any other references because we were the only ones doing long runs this morning. But it feels like we found something.

“Whether it’s going to be enough to challenge Max and Checo, I don’t know, but the feeling was better. So this is positive, but I don’t know whether it will be enough or not.”

As for Sainz, the Spaniard hopes the slipstream from the two cars ahead, Leclerc and Verstappen, could see him take the lead at the start.

“Obviously try to get a good launch and then it’s all about, yes, slip-streaming and braking into Turn 1,” said the Ferrari driver who is still chasing his first win of his F1 career.

“I think it will be good fun if we all get there at the same time. But it’s what Formula 1 is about, no? These kind of moments that… It makes it fun and I think we could have a good show.”

But while he will have to fight two Ferraris for the win Verstappen says all is not lost despite his Ferrari sandwich.


“The last few races, we have seemed decent on the tyres,” he said. “And it will be very hot, very warm.

“This track will be very tough to pass on, but we will see. Hopefully, our car will again be a bit kinder on the tyres, but it’s difficult to tell.”


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