After the double in Bahrain and second and third place in Saudi Arabia, the rivalry between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could be a real problem for Mattia Binotto, from a constructors’ world point of view.
There Scuderia Ferrari has the best duo of drivers in the 2022 Formula 1 world championship. Now, however, that he also has one of the most competitive cars in the lot, the management of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will become fundamental, to maximize the efforts made in designing the F1-75 and to aim for the constructors’ world title.
The current healthy rivalry between the Monegasque and the Spaniard could prove to be a boomerang for Mattia Binotto who finds himself in the not easy task of managing two drivers who are hungry for victories and will do everything to overtake their teammate.
After all, the first opponent on the track, is what runs with the car identical to yours. It has been like this since the first kart races, to then move on to the “minor leagues” which finally lead to the golden world of the Formula 1 Circus.
Leclerc is a pure talent and he also demonstrated it in the first two races of the F1 2022 world championship. Sainz needs a little more time to understand the car: it was like this last year, “coming out at a distance” and finishing ahead of his teammate in the world drivers’ standings.
The two know it very well: the first opponent is the rider who wears the same suit, he is the companion for briefing on the track and technical meetings in the factory, he is the one you have to joke with in the paddock and that you have to embrace for a brace or a double podium, even if with a little bitter taste in the mouth.
Yep, bitter in the mouth! We are talking about the first episode that began to mark the seasonal rivalry between the two Ferrari drivers. We refer to the start of the Jeddah Grand Prix. The starting grid saw Perez, Leclerc, Sainz and Verstappen in order. When the traffic lights went out, the Mexican maintained the first position while the Monegasque aimed more than anything else to defend himself from his Spanish teammate, moving to his right. This maneuver opened the door to Verstappen who, at the first corner, managed to flank and overtake Sainz.
In the photo below we have reconstructed, with the help of some arrows, what happened to the route of the Saudi Arabian GP.
At the end of the race there was some clarification between Leclerc and Sainz and in recent days the two drivers also talked about it with Binotto.
They also did not go unnoticed Spanish words who, in the post-race interviews in Jeddah, began by saying: “I started very well but I found myself a bit closed in turn 1 and so Max (Verstappen, ed) got the better of it”.
No mention of departure, in the statements of Leclerc.
The Ferrari Team Principal will be able to better manage the rivalry between his two drivers? It will be one of Binotto’s challenges, called this year not to make mistakes, on all fronts, including the fundamental and important management of Charles and Carlos.