Losing to Sainz was a ‘lesson learned’ for Leclerc

Frank Parker
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. Silverstone July 2021.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at the launch of the 2022 prototype car. Silverstone July 2021.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has had to take stock and learn some lessons after being outperformed by his team-mate, Carlos Sainz.

Sainz was a new arrival to the team in 2021 when he made the move from McLaren to the Scuderia. It took a while for the Spaniard to get to grips with the Ferrari, although he adapted quicker to his new environment compared to other drivers who made a switch to a different team.

Leclerc was beaten in the standings by the slim margin of just 5.5 points in 2021, but Sainz reached the podium four times compared to the Monegasque’s sole visit at the British Grand Prix.

The Spanish driver enjoyed his best season to date, scoring 164.5 points, and has been on a gradual rise to the front since his first season with Toro Rosso in 2015.

Charles Leclerc during Ferrari's F1-75 shakedown. Fiorano February 2022.
Charles Leclerc during Ferrari's shakedown of the F1-75. Fiorano February 2022.

However, Leclerc, who is contracted with Ferrari until 2026, is not worried about his status within the team and is prepared for on-track battles with Sainz in 2022.

“We’ve talked about it and we’ll be free to race, obviously in the interests of the team,” said Leclerc, quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Obviously I was sorry to have lost the challenge to Carlos last year, but it was a lesson learned and now I’m turning the page for next season.

“The approach won’t change. You always try to fight for the top positions, getting the best out of yourself and the car.”

Ferrari unveiled their striking new car, the F1-75, on Thursday and have gone somewhat aggressive in their design.

The Italian team have not won a race since 2019 and when asked about the team’s goals for the new campaign, Leclerc said the Scuderia have lofty targets.

“Winning the World Championship? That’s what we are here for,” explained Leclerc. “We have an opportunity to try to win on every track.

“I really like this new Ferrari, it’s really beautiful. We are the bravest concept seeing the cars already presented. After the work done at Maranello, to be able to admire the final design is exciting.”

 

Sainz is in the second of a two-year deal with Ferrari and the 27-year-old hinted there may be an extension to his contract coming soon.

“We are both happy with the situation and want to continue working together,” said Sainz, quoted by Motorsport.com.

 

Ferrari reveal their 2022 challenger

Ferrari have revealed their 2022 challenger.