Charles Leclerc reveals rift with Carlos Sainz after Ferraris collide at Spanish GP

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz made contact in the early stages of the Spanish GP

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Charles Leclerc slammed Carlos Sainz for ruining his 2024 Spanish Grand Prix as the Ferrari drivers collided at Turn 1 which damaged the Monegasque’s front wing and likely cost him fourth position at the chequered flag, is there a rift developing between the pair?

Leclerc warned there would be discussions within the team and said the team had ordered their drivers to hold station and save their tyres in the first stint of the race but Sainz ignored that request at his home race.

Tempers flared earlier in the 2024 season when Sainz was regularly outperforming Leclerc but the Monegasque has been top dog since the Miami GP and he still managed to finish as the lead Ferrari in Barcelona.

“We had a clear strategy at the beginning of the race with the team to both save tyres to attack late-on, however Carlos on that lap didn’t do any saving in turn 14,” Leclerc told members of the press including Total-Motorsport.com.

“He had an opportunity in turn one, which is a bit of a shame because we lose time between us, I damaged my front wing because of Carlos making the turn and that makes our race more difficult.”

Leclerc: I don’t understand Sainz

Charles Leclerc during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Charles Leclerc during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Leclerc and Sainz crashed at the start of lap three with their McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull rivals already disappearing up the road, but it came back to haunt the team late on as they conceded ground to the Silver Arrows in the constructors’ championship.

It’s not the first time Ferrari have had to deal with Leclerc and Sainz crashing on track or clashing off it, but with the Spaniard ousted in favour of Lewis Hamilton in 2025, Leclerc questioned whether his teammate wanted to show off to his home fans.

“Yeah I didn’t understand the point of doing that when it was clearly stated before the race that we had to save in this part of the race so it’s a bit unnecessary,” Leclerc added.

“I also understand that I guess it’s his home race and it’s also an important moment of his career so I guess he wanted to do something a bit spectacular, but I probably wasn’t the right person to do that with.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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