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Leclerc: Really happy for Sainz and the team

Leclerc: Really happy for Sainz and the team

Leclerc: Really happy for Sainz and the team

Charles Leclerc had no answer for Carlos Sainz’s form during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, but insisted he was happy for his teammate and his team.

Leclerc must be kicking himself for messing up his qualifying on Saturday, as he was expected to be the only one with the ability to challenge Max Verstappen for pole, and while Sainz could not deny the Dutchman, he at least put his Ferrari on the front row and was there to pick up the pieces when the Red Bull RB20’s brakes decided to go up in flames.

Leclerc tried to be as gracious as possible after the race, his body language on the podium spoke volumes, and congratulated his team and teammate saying in parc ferme: “I’m really happy for him [Sainz] and the team.

“It’s really good points. We came into the weekend telling ourselves we needed to maximise the points and there’s nothing we could have done better,” he added.

Later, in Ferrari‘s post race press release, the Monegasque added: “It was a really good weekend for the team. We maximised our points and left nothing on the table, bringing home a 1-2 finish and the fastest lap.

“Carlos did a solid job today,” he retiterated. “On my side, I had a good first stint and we managed to get ahead of Lando (Norris) during the pit stop. I struggled a bit with graining on my first set of Hards and had a stronger pace on the last stint on the second set of Hards, managing the gap to Lando.

“We’ve started out the season with three weekends in which we have made the most of our potential, which feels really good and is a testimony to all the hard work that our team has put in over the past months,” Leclerc concluded.

Ferrari not getting carried away

The winner of five Formula 1 races blamed the balance of his SF-24 for his poor result in qualifying, but the fact remains that Sainz was on a different level down under, driving on a mission to prove his team wrong for replacing him with Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur reflected on Leclerc’s race, he said: “Charles [Leclerc] produced a solid performance because, after a less than perfect qualifying, he had to manage the tyres, but he was able to fight back thanks to the performance he got from the car.

“He did really well in the first and last stints and the fastest race lap he picked up right at the end confirms the progress we have made in terms of tyre management.

“We have been quick all weekend right from the first free practice and I think we have made a good step forward compared to where we were one year ago, when we left Melbourne having failed to score points,” the Frenchman added. “We were not disappointed with our results in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, nor are we getting carried away because of this one-two finish.

“We must continue with this approach in the coming races because that’s the only way we are going to get the results we want,” he concluded.

Ferrari are now only four points behind Red Bull, second in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ Championship.