Charles Leclerc ‘suffering’ with Carlos Sainz’s performances, ex-F1 driver claims

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc on the Australia podium.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have enjoyed a productive partnership together as Ferrari team-mates.

Vitantonio Liuzzi has said Charles Leclerc is “suffering” because of how Carlos Sainz has flown out of the traps in the 2024 season.

Sainz took victory in Melbourne just a fortnight after an appendectomy, missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in the process. Leclerc is four points ahead of his team-mate in the standings, but that comes with one more race under his belt so far this season.

Charles Leclerc ‘suffering’ with Carlos Sainz performances, says ex-Red Bull driver

Leclerc went into the season with a fresh Ferrari contract signed, while Sainz is currently without a drive for next season after the Scuderia announced the signing of Lewis Hamilton for 2025 and beyond.

But of the two current Ferrari drivers, it is Sainz who has received more plaudits so far this year after his victory in Australia and excellent drives in Bahrain and Suzuka.

With that, former Red Bull and Toro Rosso driver Liuzzi believes that is having a negative effect on Leclerc, who is facing an “important battle” in 2025 when Hamilton arrives at Maranello.

“Ferrari has shown that it has made progress. It is not ready for the title, but it will have its say in many races,” Liuzzi said, as per Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.

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“It will be an entertaining championship. Then if Red Bull’s reliability problems continue for a long time, they could be a problem for themselves.

“I think Ferrari needs a couple of years to aim for the title, but it’s there. Leclerc and Sainz? I have to say that last year, in the second half of the season, I saw incredible growth from Carlos. He proved it with the victory in Singapore.

“I did not expect to see a Leclerc so under pressure and in trouble this year, he is suffering from the performance of Sainz, who will leave at the end of the season, but Hamilton will arrive in his place; therefore, Leclerc will have an important battle next to him.

“I hope Charles can find himself, he will be fundamental for the balance of the red car.”

Ferrari have established themselves as the second-quickest team behind Red Bull so far this season, sitting comfortably P2 in the Constructors’ Championship after the first four races in 2024.

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