In interviews given to Sky Sport following the 2023 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz regretfully admitted to feeling sacrificed by the Maranello team in favor of Charles Leclerc’s strategy during the race which was held at the 5.807-kilometre Suzuka International Racing Course . The Spaniard’s comments immediately resonated as a small accusation, as he intentionally or unintentionally used the exact same terms as his Scuderia Ferrari teammate during the Singapore Grand Prix. In that race, at the Marina Bay street circuit, Charles Leclerc had been asked to maintain a five-second gap to the leader to secure the victory.
As is customary, social media users were divided on the issue, and criticisms of driver number 55 were not in short supply. Italian journalist and motorsport expert Giorgio Terruzzi decided to analyze this issue in his podcast, exploring the message the driver intended to convey in the interview. “Carlos Sainz said he was penalized because he’s setting the stage: he was supposed to start the season as the second driver. He was treated that way for a while, then he won a race and two poles, and he said that he’s also making sacrifices, he’s doesn’t feel anything less than a first driver. That’s what interests him at the moment: to reiterate that he’s not second to anyone,” admitted the journalist in his recent podcast after the Japanese Grand Prix.
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