Charles Leclerc has taken in number lessons from Carlos Sainz after a year alongside the Spaniard at Ferrari in 2021.
Sainz joined from McLaren in place of Sebastian Vettel last year and duly impressed with a number of strong performances, capping his first season at Ferrari with a third place in Abu Dhabi en route fifth in the drivers’ championship. While Leclerc had two pole positions during 2021 and suffered more reliability issues, he says Sainz’s performance showed him plenty of ways to improve himself.
“I think we learned a lot,” Leclerc said. “As always when you have a new teammate, you always learn with just the new ways Carlos is approaching race weekends, the way he works, his talent, his raw speed also, the way he takes the corners… And he had an amazing year, so he has obviously pushed me very, very much to try and perform better at every race. It’s just been extremely interesting.
“I think maybe one of the strong points of Carlos is the race management and tire management, and that’s probably been my weakness (since) 2019. I’ve progressed a lot as a driver in 2020 and again (in 2021) and part of that is thanks to Carlos.”
The Ferrari drivers will get back behind the wheel of last year’s car this week at the Scuderia’s Fiorano test track, with a four-day test taking place as part of operational preparations for the new season. Test driver Robert Shwartzman will drive on Tuesday and Friday, with Leclerc in the car on Wednesday and Sainz set for Thursday.