Sainz surprised at Ferrari destabilisation quest

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have been stunned by rumours of Ferrari unrest

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have been surprised by rumours of Ferrari unrest

Carlos Sainz has dismissed suggestions of a crisis inside Ferrari and expressed surprise at the presence of forces in Italy attempting to destabilise the team.

The Scuderia’s performance and result in the season-opening race in Bahrain where Charles Leclerc retired with a power unit issue and Sainz could only finish fourth sparked a feeding frenzy in the Italian media in particular.

A swathe of rumours have since been aired, notably of divisions at the top, and that numerous key personnel, such as sporting director Laurent Mekies, are set to leave, whilst Leclerc has been linked with a switch to Mercedes.

The upshot was a meeting of the entire workforce at Maranello this week during which Leclerc, amongst others, addressed the hundreds in attendance.

Assessing the mood inside the camp at present, Sainz said: “It is a lot better than what the news makes it sound like.

“When you look back at this last week and how many rumours have been around, it seems like the place is not in a great moment.

“But I can tell you, it is so clear to us what we need to improve, how we need to do it, and what are the short-, medium- and long- term targets.

“I am actually very surprised how people back at home have been trying to destabilise the team.

“Some are calling it a crisis, but we’ve only done one race. It’s impossible to judge a team’s performance on this race.

“We are the first ones (to say) we are not happy with how this first race went.

“We are the most bothered about it, the most affected by it, and we are going to try as much as possible to improve it.

“I’m pretty calm about it, and I see people at home committed, focused, and with a very clear target in mind, and I include myself in that.”

Ferrari “fully on it” – Leclerc

Exacerbating the situation is the fact Leclerc will start Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a 10-place grid penalty.

That stems from the fact his SF-23 will use a third control electronics system when only two are permitted for the season.

Leclerc has no doubt the speculation of mass unrest inside Ferrari could not be any further from the truth.

“Honestly, I obviously saw these rumours, and when I went to Maranello, at first I was like, I’m not sure how the team is going to react,” said Leclerc.

“But then we had a meeting with the whole team, with all the Ferrari employees, and I was really surprised that everybody’s still fully on it and fully positive which is great.

“So we all need to push in the same direction, which is the most important to me.”

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