“This is what racing should be” - Leclerc reviews "on the limit" Sainz duel

Charles Leclerc has no issues with how Ferrari F1 teammate Carlos Sainz defended during their battle for third at the Italian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and team mate Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23 battle for position. Formula 1 World
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and team mate Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP)…

Once the two Red Bulls got through, Sainz and Leclerc duelled it out for the final place on the podium.

On a number of occasions, the pair touched and locked up, nearly coming to blows.

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Sainz ultimately maintained the position, scoring his first podium of F1 2023.

Reflecting on the battle with Sainz, Leclerc said: “This is what racing should be all the time in my opinion. This reminds me of the karting days when we were all on the limits. With Max we have had these battles in the past, with Checo we have had these battles in the past and with Carlos today, it was really on the limit. 

“I personally really enjoyed it. There were so many moments were it was really trick. But I don't complain, this is why I love racing. The adrenaline you feel fighting each other, it was really fun.”

Giving his view on it, Sainz commented: "It was tough, hard racing, and it's always been a pleasure to race Charles whenever we have had the chance.

"And today was the same. He is a great racer, the same as Max and Checo. We had fun out there and I hope the fans enjoyed it. 

"You cannot get any tougher than that what it was today, honestly I was pushing the whole race to keep the Red Bull behind.

"That obviously made me use the rear tyres a lot, and I ended up paying the price with the rear tyres, but I did everything I could to defend and brought it home in P3, but it was a tough race for sure."

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23 leads Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19.
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23 leads Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF…

Team boss Frederic Vasseur admitted it was a “strange feeling” seeing his two drivers fight so hard.

"For sure it’s a bit of a strange feeling, but as you know, I’m a big fan of letting them race,” he added.

"It was a great feeling. I told them no risk. The notion of no risk is always relative, but I really appreciated the last couple of laps and I hope that the fans did.

"As you can imagine, we’ll have the discussion after the race, but perhaps not tonight. Tomorrow they are in the factory.

"I don’t want to see it tonight, I will watch it tomorrow."

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