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Charles Leclerc vs. Carlos Sainz 2023 F1 Drivers Championship Overview

By Jeff Stinger

We are yet to see Ferrari produce significant results in the 2023 campaign. Now in their third season as teammates, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are both in a chess game in terms of who ranked higher in the Drivers’ Standings. There’s no question that the pair gets along outside of the track, but the tendency of Ferrari track to lose its grip on winning opportunities at the wrong moment has seen both drivers lose points this season.

Both experienced their fair share of unlucky moments, driver errors, and poor strategic calls, but another tight battle between the Scuderia duo is happening right now.

2023 Drivers’ Championship Season Head-To-Head Odds

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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc first appeared in single-seater racing in 2014 after he started competitive karting in 2005. He finished second to Nyck de Vries in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps and was quickly followed by a move to the Formula 3 European Championship in 2015 and a GP3 Series title in 2016. Monegasque continued to impress teams from there and stepped up to Formula 2 in 2017 where he drove for Prema Racing and ended his debut season with seven wins, eight pole positions, and ten podiums across 22 races. The result made him the youngest-ever champion of the series at 19 years old.

He joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2016 as a development driver for both Ferrari and Haas. After making it to a few practice and testing sessions, he was promoted to a full-time seat in 2018, racing for Sauber. He scored his first World Championship points in Azerbaijan with a P6 finish. His lone season with Sauber was enough to get him a drive with the legendary Formula 1 team Ferrari to replace Kimi Raikkonen. Leclerc started and finished his first race for Ferrari in P5.

Ferrari went through several turbulent moments and winless seasons in 2020 and 2021. Charles ensured the Tifosi found its way to a Grand Prix victory again in 2022. However, a failed title challenge came to light due to a combination of poor reliability, driver error, and doubtful strategies.

So far this season, the 25-year-old documented two podium finishes, nine Q3 appearances, a P1 best start, and a P2 best result. He also failed to finish a race on two occasions. Leclerc currently ranks seventh in the Driver Standings with 80 points.

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos Sainz Jr. is the son of renowned rally driver Carlos Sainz. He moved up to open-wheel racing to race with Formula BMW Europe in 2010. That same year, Sainz signed a deal that introduced him to the Red Bull system.

Sainz continued to race in the series and won a few Formula 3 events. The Spaniard went on to race in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2013 for a few years before securing a seat with Toro Rosso in 2015 for his winning performances in the lower-tier division. He retained his seat until 2016 but still suffered a dry streak at times. The following year, Sainz notably improved and scored enough points to keep his name within the top 10 for much of the season.

Having failed to find a promotion to the primary Red Bull team, Sainz signed a deal to join Renault in the latter stages of the 2017 campaign. After leaving Red Bull’s space, Sainz stayed with the French outfit for a year before moving to McLaren to pair with another young prospect in Lando Norris. His hard work with the Surrey-based team had him in Ferrari’s sights. And in the 2021 season, the Maranello-based constructor announced that they would replace Sebastian Vettel with Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos scored his debut Formula 1 victory in 2022 but struggled to match teammate Charles Leclerc throughout the season. He enters his third year with the Italian constructor in 2023 and is currently ahead of his teammate in the Driver Standings.

Although the 28-year-old is yet to score a podium finish this season, he is the more consistent driver of the two. Carlos has ten Q3 appearances, a P2 best start, a P4 best result, and ten points finishes for a total of 87 World Championship points and sixth place in the Driver Standings.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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