Max Verstappen has clear advantage as in-house Charles Leclerc problem highlighted

Carlos Sainz commits future to Ferrari until 2024

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Max Verstappen has an initial advantage over Charles Leclerc with the Dutchman enjoying the benefit of a stable number two team-mate, according to Gerhard Berger. The former Ferrari man claimed Sergio Perez was a ‘good team player’ while Carlos Sainz is still pushing to be the team’s number one driver.

However, the former Ferrari star claims Sainz is ‘not ready’ yet to become the team’s leading man. He predicts the Scuderia could have a problem dealing with the two drivers instead of only focussing on one title push.

Speaking to Speed Week, Berger said: “Perez has really improved a lot, also as a team player. Unlike Sainz, he knows his situation well. Sainz still has ambitions to fight to be number 1 at Ferrari. It won’t work for him, but he can’t help it.

“Ferrari could have a problem with that, as Sainz is not ready to be number two just yet.” Perez showed his team credentials at last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he compromised his own race to slow down Lewis Hamilton.

FERRARI

He was rewarded for his services with a contract extension which will see Perez stay with the team at least until the end of this season. However, Sainz just signed a new deal with the Prancing Horse until the end of 2024 and has openly claimed he wants to win the title with the team.

Sainz said: “When I joined the team in 2021 the goal was to help Ferrari get back to winning ways and to fight for both Championships. Now, the F1-75 is proving to be a front-runner, which truly allows me to chase those goals.”

However, Sainz has has a poor start to the season with two back-to-back retirements in Australia and Emilia Romagna.

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The incidents have left the Spaniard fifth in the drivers’ standings and a massive 48 points behind his team-mate. Many pundits have claimed Sainz could well be forced to become the team’s second driver as Ferrari chases its first drivers’ crown since 2007.

Speaking after Australia, Martin Brundle said: “He may well end up having to play a supporting role to Leclerc from here, depending on how the competition shapes up and if he can win the next couple of races, which is not out of the question.”

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