F1 Leclerc, Sainz and the hierarchies in Ferrari

The Cavallino flies in this start of the F1 2022 world championship, but among the drivers, in first and second place in the standings, there is no designated leader. From Red Bull they tease: “It is obvious who is the first guide”, but in Maranello only the team counts

Giusto Ferronato

– Milan

They are free to run, officially there are no hierarchies. But one of the two is running a little faster and if the trend is confirmed, it will matter. In Ferrari’s dream start to this 2022 World Cup, the theme of the internal challenge between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz also takes center stage. A challenge that in fact did not exist on the track because, neither in Bahrain nor in Arabia can we speak of close contact between the Monegasque and the Spaniard. It was all very natural, actually. In Sakhir, Leclerc took pole in front of Max Verstappen and then in the race he has always been in the lead, with Sainz second also thanks to the retirement of the two Red Bulls in the final. In Arabia an encore situation, with Leclerc in the front row, mocked by a few thousandths of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, and Sainz in the second row ahead of Verstappen’s other Red Bull. Then at the start the latter overtook the Spaniard, and after the pit stop Carlos in fact only dueled with Perez for the podium (conquered), while Charles up front gave a show with Verstappen for the victory of the GP. No rear car situation faster than the front one, no uncomfortable radio team situations, just one faster than the other. And the moral of the short story says 78 points won by the two Cavallino guides, first and second in the world championship standings, with Charles at 45 and Carlos at 33. Yes. First and second, but a zero victory and a zero pole for Leclerc. And who has to make evaluations, he makes them.

the red bull provokes

Evaluations that Mattia Binotto and Ferrari would always like to deal with, perhaps there had been some in recent years … It is also understood that Ferrari is fast from how the sly but always very direct Helmut Marko got into the topic, that of Red Bull is the strong man: “Last year Sainz defeated Leclerc, but this year Leclerc is in great shape. This means that we cannot expect help from Carlos, because it is clear that their situation is practically the same. The same as we have, with an obvious number one in the garage. The fight for the title? I think we are in a good position, but we have a Ferrari that is practically at our level. And Leclerc is driving impeccably. ” At the Cavallino they will have smiled: if the main rivals think it is already necessary to try to spice up the rival garage, taking care to define the internal hierarchies of the Ferrari drivers, obviously the F1-75 is a cause for concern. Then there is the reality, which from Ferrari’s point of view is linear, from the point of view of Sainz’s title ambitions, fatally, will become clear in the next races. It is no mystery that the Spaniard still has some problems adapting to the F1-75, while Leclerc was immediately able to “tame” it, adapting it to his style.

carlos knows what to do

If we want to talk about the title fight, Carlos has to hurry. The Madrilenian has already said that he has understood what aspect he has to work on to make the most of the red car and the next GPs, starting from Australia this weekend, will become decisive in trying to rebalance the weight of the scale, which is starting to hang from the part of Leclerc. A challenge within the challenge, to be followed with interest also because Sainz has already shown that he is a driver capable of asserting himself, used to duels with uncomfortable teammates. At Toro Rosso he had a fight with the rookie but very wild Max Verstappen, at Renault against tough Nico Hulkenberg, at McLaren against another talented golden boy like Lando Norris.

the couple is right

And now at Ferrari he has to deal with Leclerc, who, however, has already taken the satisfaction of beating in the championship standings last year, not bad as a debut season in red, against the predestined with a long contract. Will he make it? From the point of view of the choice of couple, it must be said, Ferrari has focused on the right horse. Sainz has so far confirmed himself as a solid, experienced driver, ideal for a healthy and constructive internal competition with Leclerc. All in a logic of perfect continuity with what the Spaniard has shown in McLaren, another team under reconstruction whose team principal Andreas Seidl has always praised his work: “Together with Lando, Carlos has understood when it is time to put aside personal ambitions for the good of the team “. So appreciated, that when he left half of the team he shot a video to tell Ferrari “Treat us well”. At the Cavallino they know this and the renewal is ready. Leclerc, however, does not give gifts, to overcome Sainz will have to overcome. Quickly.

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