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Leclerc ‘not worried’ about relationship with Sainz after Barcelona clash as he reveals post-race discussion

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Charles Leclerc insists that he has no concerns about his relationship with team mate Carlos Sainz going forwards, despite the Ferrari pair being at odds in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix following contact between them in the early stages of the race.

Leclerc had been trying to save his tyres in the first laps of the event when Sainz attempted a move down the inside of the Monegasque into Turn 1 on Lap 3, resulting in a brief touch before Sainz went off track before retaining the position.

READ MORE: ‘He complains too much’ – Sainz and Leclerc at odds over Barcelona clash

Both drivers had a different take on the incident later on, with Leclerc labelling Sainz’s move “a shame” as well as suggesting that it had caused damage to his car. Sainz, meanwhile, stated that Leclerc “too many times complains after a race”.

With only a few days having passed as the F1 calendar moves on to Austria for the second leg of a triple header, Leclerc – who ultimately finished the race in fifth, one place ahead of Sainz – was asked during Thursday’s press conference about how his relationship with Sainz now stands and whether he had any concerns.

“For our relationship, not at all,” Leclerc replied, “just because we came back on the same plane Sunday night and it was a matter of seeing each other, and it’s all good.

“We had a discussion, as always. I think the issue always seems huge from outside, but then between us, we know each other so well since so many years that we know that, after the race, there’s tension – we are both in the heat of the moment disappointed with each other, but then we speak together and all is good.

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“I’m not worried at all for our relationship going forward. Even in a race where it was a bit more tense, which happened in the past and it may be not the last time, but all the time we’ve managed that by speaking to each other and then it’s all good going forward.

“And it’s just the same [this time], so I’m not worried at all.”

It has long been known that Sainz will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, with the Scuderia confirming back in February that they had opted to sign Lewis Hamilton on a multi-year contract for 2025.

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Pushed on whether the Spaniard’s impending departure has changed the dynamics within the team, Leclerc denied that this was the case and reiterated that the pair continue to discuss any issues that may arise.

“No, we’ve been working very, very well,” said Leclerc. “I think in the past – I guess the question is more because of what happened at the last race – but in the past we also had those moments where it’s tricky, and between team mates especially when we are so close to each other, these moments happen.

“It’s all about how you deal with it afterwards face-to-face, and I think this has always been done very well between Carlos and myself. I have no worries going forwards, and I honestly haven’t seen any change since that is the case.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 27: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari attends the Drivers Press

Leclerc is hopeful that Ferrari can bounce back in Austria

“At the end we are professionals, and we know that it’s good for both of us if there’s a good relationship within the team, that we work well together on track.

“Sometimes I will go a bit over the limit, sometimes Carlos will go a little bit over the limit, and then it’s all about speaking to each other and reset. I have no worries going forward that it won’t be the case anymore.”

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In terms of what Ferrari can achieve in Austria after two challenging weekends in Montreal and Barcelona, Leclerc is hopeful that the squad can bounce back.

“I feel like the potential is in the car, we just need to optimise our package and then we’ll be back to where we want,” he explained. “We didn’t do that in Montreal, especially with tyres and the conditions were a bit outside of our operating window.

“Then in Barcelona we were just not fast enough. But the preparation on the simulator for this track went well, so I feel confident we’ll be back in the fight.”

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