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Sainz makes Leclerc 'copying' admission

Sainz makes Leclerc 'copying' admission

F1 News

Sainz makes Leclerc 'copying' admission

Sainz makes Leclerc 'copying' admission
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Carlos Sainz has conceded he had to "copy" Charles Leclerc over the past F1 season in order to turn around his year.

The Spaniard endured a torrid start to the campaign that included two retirements in the opening three laps within the first four races.

The Imola weekend, in particular, highlighted Sainz's deficiencies, with a crash in qualifying followed by retirement at the opening corner of the grand prix.

But to Sainz's credit, he bounced back to secure a first F1 pole and victory at the British Grand Prix.

Asked what had changed to assist his recovery, Sainz said: “It’s super-technical and super-detailed.

READ MORE...Sainz lists two main targets for Ferrari success

"Probably not worth putting it out in the media because it’s too technical and too precise to go so much into detail. But I can tell you that I had to reinvent myself in many areas.

“I had to copy a lot of stuff from Charles’ driving, I had to adapt the set-up of the car a bit to me.

“I made many mistakes on the way which also made me take a step backward to then take two forward."

Sainz reveals 2023 optimism

Ferrari's challenge against Red Bull died off in the second half of the season but there will be optimism that Leclerc can take the fight to Max Verstappen next year.

But Sainz is now confident he can feature following his turnaround.

“The important thing is now I am there," he added. "It would have been very easy to give up on it given how difficult it became at one point.

"But you can see in other drivers on the grid, it is not easy to turn a season around and I managed to do so.

“So, that leaves me with optimism and I’m also quite proud of the job I did with my engineers this year.”

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