Sainz vs Leclerc at Ferrari in 2021: How will they match up?

07-11-2020 12:32
F1 News
Sainz vs Leclerc at Ferrari in 2021: How will they match up?

From 2021, Carlos Sainz will be a Ferrari driver. The Spaniard will leave the McLaren team after two years and will become a teammate of Charles Leclerc in Italy. Can Sainz compete with a strong teammate like Leclerc?

This article was produced in partnership with and was first published by Bonne Veenstra.

Leclerc destroys Vettel

Leclerc has driven his teammate Sebastian Vettel completely off the track. The four-time world champion is nowhere to be seen and has only 18 points against Leclerc's 85. If Vettel's results were about the same as Leclerc's, Ferrari would have a good chance of third place in the championship.

Not an easy route for Sainz

Ferrari has also had enough of Vettel's poor form and even before the season really started, his replacement was announced by the Italians: Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard had a difficult start to his Formula 1 career. His first teammate was super-talented Max Verstappen, but he was still able to keep up reasonably well. However, he never got the chance to move to Red Bull Racing.

So Sainz was lent by Red Bull to the Renault factory team, where he spent just over a season. After the Renault stint, he broke ties with the Red Bull family and moved to McLaren for 2019, staying with the team for two seasons.

Current duels

After 2020, the time has come. Sainz finally gets the chance to be part of a large team, even though the team is not performing at the level it would like. And with that team, Sainz will once again have to deal with a very strong teammate. Leclerc has dominated Vettel and only finished behind him once in 2020. Leclerc is also well ahead of his teammate in the qualifying battle: 11-2.

Sainz has had some trouble beating teammate Lando Norris in 2020. In the qualifying match the two are closely matched, Sainz is ahead 7-6. The same goes for the total points of both drivers: Norris is just ahead with 69 points from 13 races, while Sainz has 65. It has to be said that Sainz has more bad luck this season than Norris. He had unfortunate retirements in both Spa and Mugello.

Who wins between Leclerc and Sainz?

The question is whether Sainz will be able to keep up with his teammate Leclerc in 2021. Sainz is cut from the right racing wood and will certainly do his best to make things difficult for the Monegasque, but Leclerc is an exceptional talent and will probably be preferred by Ferrari itself. As Ferrari has often done in previous years, the team seems to opt for a clear leader and a number two driver. We have seen this before with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and also with the combination of Fernando Alonso with Felipe Massa.

However, this time it will not be quite the same as those previous years. For example, where Raikkonen was satisfied with being second driver, Sainz will probably not be. Leclerc will likely be the better driver, but Sainz will seize every opportunity to beat his teammate with both hands.

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