Japanese GP organisers make Charles Leclerc blunder ahead of Ferrari arrival

Ferrari official teaser trailer

Officials at the Japanese Grand Prix were forced to rectify a comical error involving Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in the lead-up to this weekend’s race. Organisers only became aware of the issue after a photo went viral on social media, showing that Sainz’s banner had been placed above each side of the Ferrari garage.

The Spaniard is very much the man of the moment, having taken pole position in Monza earlier this month before notching a superb win in Singapore last time out. In doing so, Sainz became the only driver other than the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to win a race in 2023.

Organisers at Suzuka seemingly got caught up in the 29-year-old’s recent success, as they not only placed a banner with Sainz’s face and name over his own garage, but also Leclerc’s.

After being made aware of the mistake, workers in high-vis jackets set about covering up the Sainz banner before drivers descend on Japan later this week.

Click here to join our WhatsApp community to be the first to receive breaking and exclusive F1 news.

Don’t miss… Hamilton told he’s made a mistake as Red Bull prepare contract announcement

Leclerc will be keen to get one back on his team-mate after playing a supporting role at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The Monegasque was tasked with backing up the pack, allowing Sainz to control the pace from the front.

A bunched-up field also prevented Ferrari’s F1 rivals from exploiting a two-stop strategy until late in the race. Sainz shone strategically in the final laps to tie up the second Grand Prix win of his career.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

With Lewis Hamilton and George Russell closing in quickly, Sainz slowed down on purpose to give Lando Norris DRS, which helped him fend off the Mercedes duo’s challenge. 

“Carlos Sainz was the star in Monza in his Ferrari albeit only finishing third on that occasion, but in Singapore, he was the maestro from pole position to chequered flag,” F1 pundit Martin Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“The way he decided to use Lando Norris’s McLaren as a roadblock to two fast Mercedes closing in at a ridiculous rate, by slowing down to ensure Norris had the use of the rear wing DRS open, was as risky as it was brilliant.

“Sainz and Norris tellingly only posted the seventh and eighth fastest laps of the race of 19 starters – the best part of two seconds slower than fastest man Hamilton followed by Russell. That pretty much sums up the race, especially the closing stages and the heroic defence by two ‘team-mates’ who were no longer in the same team. What a great story.”

Source: Read Full Article