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Leclerc: Sainz was over the limit

Leclerc: Sainz was over the limit today

Leclerc: Sainz was over the limit

Charles Leclerc was not impressed with Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz’s defensive tactics during the Formula 1 Sprint Race in China, insisting he was over the limit.

Sainz who was fighting with Fernando Alonso for most of the Sprint Race lost ground Sergio Perez overtook both Spaniards and was soon having to defend from Leclerc as Alonso retired with a puncture.

But the driver of the #55 Ferrari, out of the team in 2025, refused to yield and put up a staunch defense against his teammate who said over the team radio that his Sainz was fighting him more than the others.

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Going into the hairpin at Turn 14, Sainz went deep as he and Leclerc went side by side, the latter going off track to avoid contact before making the pass stick at Turn 4 later.

Commenting on the incident after the race, Leclerc said: “I think it was aggressive, maybe, between Carlos and I – a bit too aggressive. I think Carlos was a bit over the limit today.

“In the past we’ve had other fights where sometimes I was over the limit, sometimes he was over the limit. Today I think it was on his side. We’ll have to discuss, like we always do in these kind of situations.

“But we have a great relationship with Carlos so I have no worries,” he insisted. “I think we’ll clear the air very, very quickly and it will be all fine, but obviously today I think we were pretty lucky to both finish the race. The contact was a bit unnecessary.”

Leclerc has been struggling to match Sainz in qualifying recently which is a surprise given his history as a great qualifier, but with the rules allowing to break parc ferme between the Sprint and qualifying, he is looking to do some changes and try to regain his upper hand for the qualifying session.

He said: “Full focus on this afternoon because [qualifying] clearly has been my weakness in the last two races.

“The out-lap, I’ve done a lot of work on that. SQ1 and SQ2 yesterday [the first two segments of Sprint Qualifying] were really positive and I showed the progress, now I need to show it today because the qualifying is what is most important.

“If we have a good starting position tomorrow, I’m confident we can have a great race,” Leclerc concluded.