Charles Leclerc admits Carlos Sainz is currently “doing a better job”

Charles Leclerc concedes Ferrari F1 teammate Carlos Sainz is getting more out of the car than him.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3,
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia…

Charles Leclerc has conceded that Ferrari F1 teammate Carlos Sainz is currently doing a “better job” and getting more out of the car than him.

Sainz, who will be replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton at the end of the season, is only four points behind Leclerc despite missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to needing an appendectomy.

The Spaniard has outperformed Leclerc at the three races he started and finished on the podium on each occasion, including winning the Australian Grand Prix as he returned to action following surgery.

"I think it's as simple as he's doing a better job. I think in Bahrain, it's difficult to compare because on my side I was facing issues and I think it was a very strong weekend apart from that," Leclerc admitted ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

"However, in the last two races, he's just been stronger. It's up to me now to work, especially in the qualifying pace, which is normally a strength.  

"I've been struggling to put the lap together; it's a very fine line to get it right or completely wrong on the out lap and putting the tyres in the right window.

"For now, I have been struggling more than what Carlos has done and he's driving at a very high level.  I have been working a lot on that. And normally when I work on points, I'm quite confident on improving pretty quickly.

"I'm not worried, but obviously now I need to show that on track - starting from tomorrow in qualifying.”

Ferrari have been Red Bull’s nearest challengers so far in 2024 and Leclerc is hopeful the Italian outfit can be even closer in Shanghai.

“On paper I think it’s a track where we could be a bit stronger compared to Suzuka,” he explained. “But we’ll just approach it the same way.

“I still think that Red Bull will have the upper hand this weekend and we’ll just have to focus on ourselves because it can be very easy, as we’ve seen, especially in qualifying in Suzuka, if you don’t do a good job on Saturday and then you don’t [start] from fourth to fifth, but you go from fourth to eighth.”

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