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Leclerc admits he was 'hurt' by Sainz

Leclerc admits he was 'hurt' by Sainz

Leclerc admits he was 'hurt' by Sainz

Leclerc admits he was 'hurt' by Sainz

Charles Leclerc has expressed that it 'hurts' when his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainzbecame the only non-Red Bull driver to clinch a grand prix victory in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The Red Bull duo, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, dominated the 2023 F1 season by winning 21 out of 22 race weekends, securing the top two spots in the drivers' championship.

However, Sainz managed to halt Verstappen's dominant streak by winning the Singapore Grand Prix. Despite this, Leclerc has admitted that the victory 'hurts' because the strategy used by Sainz was initially his idea.

Carlos Sainz after winning the Singapore GP
Charles Leclerc has admitted it 'hurts' that Sainz took the only other non-Red Bull victory

Leclerc: It was my idea

“That hurts, especially in a season like this, in which there was only this one chance” Leclerc told Auto Motor und Sport.

“That’s where I didn’t get the qualification right, which ultimately cost me the race. But it was absolutely important for the team because, as a team, we did everything right.

“The thing with the soft tires was my idea. Not to help Carlos. But because it was the best thing for our race. In moments like this, you have to accept that the team comes first. They would do the same for me if I was ahead.”

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will try to topple Max Verstappen in 2024

Ferrari 2024

Leclerc also provided insight into his perspective on the 2023 season, especially given Ferrari's failure to secure second place in the constructors' championship.

“It wasn't an outstanding season because our car wasn't as good as expected,” added Leclerc. “On the other hand, we also learned a lot for 2024. And that's the best thing you can expect in a difficult year.

“Unfortunately, we haven't been able to change much this season, but in the medium term we are now able to take a step forward. I myself am reasonably satisfied with myself. The characteristics of this car did not actually match my driving style.

“We worked on this during the season and slowly found a direction that suits me better. Especially the new underbody in Japan helped me. The front axle is now biting better again. On the negative side are some defects at the beginning of the season and of course the disqualification in Austin.”

With Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur recently expressing confidence for the upcoming season, Leclerc might not find himself complaining about Sainz winning races if he is also on the podium.

READ MORE: Perez issues Red Bull rallying cry for 2024 F1 season


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