Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): Why slower than Sainz?  / System 1

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): Why slower than Sainz? / System 1

Charles Leclerc got his third defeat in 2024 in Ferrari’s fight against Carlos Sainz in Japan. Monegasse is considered one of the fastest men in the blackout industry. Why is he losing to Sainz?

Bahrain Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz is third behind Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez. Charles Leclerc comes fourth.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Sainz must have his appendix removed, the 29-year-old Madrilenian cannot take part in the race. Third place for Leclerc, again behind Verstappen/Pérez.

Australian GP in Melbourne: double victory for Ferrari, with Sainz ahead of Leclerc.

World Championship round in Japan in Suzuka: Back to normal for Red Bull Racing’s third win, again Verstappen ahead of Pérez, third for Sainz, fourth for Leclerc.

In the direct race duel, Leclerc suffered his third consecutive defeat (Jeddah, of course, is not used), and the fans of the 26-year-old Monegasque are wondering – why is Carlos Sainz currently the strongest Ferrari driver?

Charles Leclerc says: “Regarding my performance in the Suzuka race, I can be satisfied because if you finish fourth from eighth on the grid, then you shouldn’t complain. My speed was right, our strategy was right, tire management was right.”

“But as a driver you tend to focus on the negative. And that’s when I realize: There is little to criticize about the speed in the Grand Prix, but I’m not happy with my performance in qualifying. And that’s surprising, when qualifying is usually one of my strengths.”

“Neither in Australia nor in Japan was I able to get the tires into the best working window in the last practice session, so only 5th and 8th on the grid.”

“When we move to Shanghai, that’s when I will focus more. I have to manage to start from the front again, then it will be easier to achieve a better race result.

“On the Saturday of the Japanese GP weekend, for example, I did a really good lap, but the tires didn’t have good grip. It was disappointing. I still remember how happy I was when I crossed the finish line, knowing that I had played well, then I saw the time and that was very surprising.”

“It’s all about nuances, but I realize that I have to do a better job when it comes to preparing the tires.”

In addition, the five-time winner of the GP Leclerc will have two chances in China, because we will experience double qualifying in Shanghai – the weekend from Friday, April 19 will take place in a race format.

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Bulls Racing, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0