Ferrari: Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz injured after failure in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc retired from the Azerbaijan GP after his Ferrari went up in smoke (Picture: Getty)

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. couldn’t hide their disappointment after both Ferrari drivers withdrew from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with mechanical problems.

Leclerc had started from pole on Sunday despite being passed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at the first corner, but an early pit stop resulted in an intriguing tactical battle between the leaders.

But on lap 20 of 51, back in the lead of the race, Leclerc’s engine went up in smoke, ending the Monaco afternoon early.

Max Verstappen won at the Baku City Circuit as Perez completed a Red Bull 1-2, with the Dutchman extending his lead over Leclerc to 34 points.

“I don’t have the full picture of what happened today, but it hurts,” Leclerc told Sky Sports after his retirement.

Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari broke down after just nine laps of the race (Picture: Getty)

“We really need to investigate this so it doesn’t happen again. I can’t find the right words to describe it – it’s very disappointing.

“We were fast at the beginning of the season without any major problems and we have changed for the better. It is difficult to understand. I don’t know what went wrong.’

Over the course of a lap, Ferrari appear to edge Red Bull, but poor race strategy and reliability issues have cost the Scuderia valuable points again this season, and after Azerbaijan the Italian team sits a whopping 80 points adrift of their closest rival in the season’s Constructors’ Championship.

Sainz Jr. was fourth when his hydraulics failed on lap nine and after his third retirement in six races, the Spaniard was understandably dejected in his post-race interview.

He said: “It was a big shame because I had been very careful with my tires for the first few laps and was just about to start pushing and moving forward and as soon as that happened my hydraulics went out.

“A bad day for the team but we have to make sure people stay positive because there are better days to come. But this 2022 season is definitely not going in my direction.

Despite his fast car, Sainz Jr. is only fifth overall, behind Verstappen, Perez, Leclerc and even Mercedes’ George Russell.

It was a miserable weekend all round for Ferrari as not only did their two cars not finish, but also Guanyu Zhou’s Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas retired with mechanical problems.

“I was pretty good on my side in terms of reliability. We’ve had terrible bad luck all season and it’s been quite difficult to get any kind of momentum going this season,” added Sainz Jr.

“I can’t do two races in a row without something happening. I need laps to understand the car. It’s a shame but we are a team and we will remain united and positive.’

MORE : Max Verstappen praises ‘incredible’ Red Bull car after comfortable win at Azerbaijan Grand Prix

MORE : George Russell happy with Mercedes’ progress despite ‘disappointment’ at lack of race win

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General Sports Ferrari: Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz injured after failure in Azerbaijan

Nate Jones

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