Carlos Sainz’s verdict on Ferrari’s “no No1 driver” policy

Carlos Sainz insists that rival teams will see Ferrari’s policy not to designate a No1 driver as “a strength”.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari on the drivers' parade. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari on the…

Fred Vasseur’s arrival as team principal last year meant that he insisted Ferrari would operate without either driver specifically prioritised, even despite his own personal history with Charles Leclerc.

Sainz became the only non-Red Bull driver to win an F1 grand prix last year, while Ferrari finished third in the constructors’ championship.

“I think that all the other teams will see it as a strength for Ferrari,” Sainz told AS

“I don't know if there will be a side in the media or among the fans that thinks that having two fast drivers together, close to each other, is a negative thing. 

“But if you go to the ten main F1 teams, and all the people who really understand this sport, and ask them what the ideal situation is in terms of driver line-ups, they will tell you that you should always have the fastest two possible.

“And that they respect each other and there are no problems. 

“If we are the two fastest it is impossible to know, but we have respected each other.”

Asked if Ferrari had the most balanced driver line-up on the 2024 grid, Sainz said: “Perhaps I am influenced by the fact that I am one of the two drivers. 

“I think yes, I will recommend to Ferrari yes. 

“But in addition to being fast and good, I do know that I get on very well with Charles. 

“We respect each other a lot on the track and we put Ferrari ahead. 

“We have been together for three years and there has not been an incident on the track. 

“We went out to all the races fourth and fifth, first and second, always close to each other.”

Sainz and Leclerc will both see their current Ferrari contracts expire at the end of this season.

But the iconic Italian manufacturer is already hard at work to agree fresh deals with each driver.

Ferrari’s “priority” is to keep both drivers but Leclerc’s negotiations are taking “precedence” over Sainz’s, reports.

Leclerc pocketed $19m compared to Sainz’s $14m in 2023, Forbes report, in their list of F1 driver salaries.

Sainz is frequently linked to Audi, who will arrival into Formula 1 in 2026 when the new regulations are introduced. So talks over a new deal will test Ferrari's commitment to him.

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