Ferrari warned F1 line-up call ‘will be questioned’ if Sainz takes Imola win


Ferrari has been warned that its decision to stick with Charles Leclerc over Carlos Sainz “will be called into question” if the latter wins the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.

This is veteran F1 journalist's opinion Racing News 365 Lead editor Ian Parkes, speaking in the latest episode of this site's podcast.

Although Sainz was the only non-Red Bull winner in 2023, the Spaniard will move from the Italian team at the end of the year, but he has nonetheless started the Formula 1 season well. Despite his absence from the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix due to appendicitis, he trails his teammate Leclerc by only 15 points.

While Monaco performed better than Sainz in the last two rounds, the 29-year-old took the team's only win of the season at the Australian Grand Prix – something Parkes believes could happen again at Imola this weekend.

At the latest, Parks said: “I will get Carlos Sainz to win.” RacingNews365.com podcast when giving his bold predictions for the Imola race weekend to Formula 1 host and Formula E journalist Nick Golding.

“On the weekend when Ferrari returns to Italy… Carlos will go to hell for leather and say: 'You know guys, that's why you had to keep me'.”

This prompted fellow Formula 1 journalist Samuel Cope to wonder at what point Ferrari fans start saying: “I think we've kept the wrong guy”, and whether it will reach that tipping point.

Although the tide has turned slightly towards Leclerc in recent weeks, Parkes feels a Sainz victory could reignite debate over whether Ferrari will replace the wrong driver for the next Lewis Hamilton.

“You have to start wondering at what point,” he replied. “If Carlos gets the victory, let's say this weekend [at Imola]And then, without a doubt, the matter will be called into question. Immediately, afterwards.

“We'll be wondering about it on this podcast next Monday, no doubt, if that's the case, if Carlos goes and wins,” Parks joked.

“Why did we let him go, and why did we keep Charles?”

Parks went on to point out comments made by Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur, who maintained that signing Hamilton was a “no-brainer”, given the seven-time Formula 1 champion's success, even if it meant jettisoning Sainz in F1. practical.

“I gave you some feedback from my interview with Fred, about why he chose Luis over Carlos. He said it was a difficult conversation he had to have with Carlos.” Racing News 365 said the lead editor.

“I believe in the end the right decision has been made, and for the long-term future of the team, Charles [Leclerc] Carlos remains the best bet. Naturally, he will stick to his guns.

“If Carlos wins again, we can ask him the same question on Sunday night in Imola: Did you make the right decision?” And we will get our answer from him, of course. He will say: Yes, he made the right decision. He will not turn around and say, “No.” Why would he do that?

“But of course, I think it will really start to become a serious topic of discussion” in Italy… “If Carlos goes and wins, the fans will say: why him, why did we let him leave,” he added. “Why did we keep Charles because he is the guy who has won for us, not only the last two grands prix, he could win three more if he wins at Imola.”

Want to listen to all of the latest Racing News 365 Podcast? Check it out below.



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