Ferrari drivers head to Maranello factory to discuss tense Monza battle

Michelle Foster
Ferrari teammates Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc fighting for position at the Italian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz locks up as he tries to hold off Charles Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc agreed their late-race battle at the Italian Grand Prix was “on the limit” with the teammates preparing for a potential lecture when they sit down with team boss Fred Vasseur in Maranello.

With the final podium position up for grabs at Ferrari’s home race at Monza, Sainz and Leclerc went at it in the closing laps with the two locking up, off the track, and even coming too close for comfort to taking each other out of the race.

Sainz came out on top, crossing the line 0.184s ahead of his teammate to secure his first podium result of this season.

On the limit but still respectful, insist Ferrari duo

The Spaniard admits their battle would not have made for easy viewing for Vasseur and the rest of the Ferrari pit wall, who opted against issuing orders for the drivers to hold station.

“Honestly, I’m not sure if the word is good fun, but it was a very tough fight and I gave absolutely everything,” he told Sky Sports.

“I feel a bit sorry for Fred and the team because they must have had it really tough on the pit wall with those battles.

“But I think it was on the limit, respected battle between teammates, and I think we did everything we could to not have any contact, and in the end, we finished P3 and P4.”

His teammate Leclerc agreed their tussle was on the limit with both drivers “moving a bit too much under-braking” and occasionally getting a bit too close.

“This is what racing should be all the time in my opinion,” he added. “This reminds me of the karting days when we were all on the limits.

“With Max, we have had these battles in the past, with Checo we have had these battles in the past and with Carlos today, it was really on the limit.

“I personally really enjoyed it. It was close many, many times. There were so many moments where it was very tricky.

“We were both moving a bit too much under-braking, but at the end, I don’t complain, this is what I love about racing. The adrenaline you feel fighting each other, it was really fun.

“It was on the limit from Carlos on the defending side, it was on the limit from me on the attacking side.

“It means so much to us both to be on the podium here in Monza, so we gave it our all, obviously 110 percent from my side and Carlos’.”

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Ferrari ‘sit down’ planned for Monday in Maranello

But while they came through it unscathed, Leclerc says they will have a “sit down” with their team boss to speak about their battle although he insists the teammates were aware of their duty to Ferrari and the Tifosi to bring both cars home.

“At the same time, we also had the responsibility of having a red car on the podium,” he said. “Otherwise the Tifosi would have been very angry with us tonight.

“Yes it was on the limit, but I’ve always said this is how I love racing. I loved today. We will sit down with Fred.”

As for Vasseur, he says those talks will take place as early as Monday.

“For sure it’s a bit of a strange feeling, but as you know, I’m a big fan of letting them race,” he said.

“It was a great feeling. I told them no risk. The notion of no risk is always relative, but I really appreciated the last couple of laps and I hope that the fans did.

“As you can imagine, we’ll have the discussion after the race, but perhaps not tonight – tomorrow (Monday) they are in the factory.”

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