Charles Leclerc ‘sick to his stomach’ as ex-Ferrari chief blasts ace

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Charles Leclerc cannot stand it when Carlos Sainz finishes ahead of him and risks turning Ferrari against him by kicking up ‘a lot of fuss’ when things are not going well, according to former technical director Joan Villaldeprat. Leclerc has only managed to earn a total of six points in the Drivers’ Championship so far this season after a difficult start to the campaign, during which he has claimed just one top-10 finish.

Sainz, meanwhile, finds himself in fifth position overall with 20 points to his name and is seemingly a far more consistent performer than Leclerc as things stand in spite of the latter’s advantage in terms of outright speed. Villaldeprat believes that Leclerc will need to start working harder and avoid throwing his toys out of the pram in order to re-establish himself as the lead driver at Ferrari, with the Spaniard arguably a better long-term option for the team than his Monegasque team-mate.

“Leclerc has been sold that he is number one and, when he sees Carlos in front of him, no matter how much good vibes they have, it makes him sick to his stomach,” Villadeprat told El Confidencial.

“Carlos has to be always there, in front. There is something important, but it takes time to recognise. Carlos works harder than Leclerc, he is easier to work with people, he is a more positive asset, Leclerc puts a lot of pressure and a lot of fuss on the team when things don’t go well, and this doesn’t help. This quality of Carlos can be advantageous in the long run.”

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“Leclerc is more instinctive than Carlos, who must sometimes think that things come easy to Charles, and that he has to work harder. In the race, I can agree, but when the other is in front he disappears. But if Leclerc grows this year, he’s going to be renamed king of Ferrari again. That’s how Italy works, and that’s how Ferrari works.”

Villadeprat went on to insist that Leclerc will be doing everything in his power to prove himself against Sainz over the coming weeks as he looks to climb ahead of his Ferrari team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship standings after a sluggish start to the campaign thus far.

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“I see that [Sainz] is pushing from the beginning,” added Villadeprat. “The story of adapting to the car is no longer valid, so he has to keep it up because Leclerc is coming back, and very strong. He has a great innate speed, more than Carlos, who has to work on it more, so he has to push and take maximum points and stay there.

“At Ferrari the balance changes weight immediately. Now, he is in front, but if Leclerc gets in front… His weight, even today, is more than Carlos in Ferrari, he is more considered than Carlos today, and the first mission is to make Carlos more considered than Leclerc.”

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