Ferrari made an impressive start to F1’s new era at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with Leclerc leading home Sainz in the team’s first one-two in three years, leading to the Italian outfit being tipped as early favourites for the world championship. 

The prospect of both Ferrari drivers going for the title has raised questions over how it might affect the relationship between Leclerc and Sainz, who have started the season on equal status. 

But Sainz reckons it is “a great problem” for Ferrari to have and sees little reason to be concerned about things turning ugly. 

"I think it’s something that between Charles, myself and the team, we will manage the same way that we were managing it in the past,” the Spaniard said. 

“Yes, the pressure will be higher, the stakes are higher with the wins but I think we are mature enough and we know what to do.” 

Leclerc also played down the prospect of tension brewing at Ferrari, insisting the pair have a “very good relationship”. 

“I don’t think this will be a problem,” he added. “Of course when I put the helmet on I want to beat Carlos as much as he wants to beat me but on the other hand we are aware that this is a huge opportunity for all of us. 

“A crash this year would cost us even more than it would have cost us last year, but we’ve never had any problems with it. 

“We’ve always given each other a lot of respect and we also have a very good relationship outside of the track which helps everything, so I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Asked if their relationship has changed at all, Leclerc said: “No it hasn’t changed. Whether it will or not long-term, I don’t think so. Let’s wait and see but I really don’t think so.”