Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz accused of crumbling under real pressure

Carlos Sainz commits future to Ferrari until 2024

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Red Bull boss Helmut Marko has accused Ferrari stars Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of making mistakes under pressure as the championship battle hots up. The Prancing Horse threw away a massive points haul in Imola as the team’s two drivers made errors across the weekend.

Marko has suggested the Italian marquee was struggling to handle Red Bull when they finally put the championship leaders under some ‘real pressure’. However, he warned it was unlikely the team could beat the Scuderia in the development battle over the opening few races meaning piling on pressure was their best tactic to fight for the crown.

Marko said: “I don’t think so. And what we saw was if we put real pressure on, they are making mistakes.

“You could see it… Leclerc spun in Friday twice, Sainz spun today, Leclerc again.”

Red Bull appeared to have the better pace in Imola but Ferrari were still fast enough for at least third and fourth on Sunday. However, Sainz lost control of his car in qualifying which put him down in 10th for Saturday’s sprint.

He recovered to start fourth in Sunday’s Grand Prix but made contact with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap and was forced to retire. Meanwhile, Leclerc made another error with just a handful of laps remaining after he smashed into the kerb at the tight Variante Alta.

The Monegasque was chasing down Sergio Perez for second at the time but was too greedy on the corner entrance and spun. Leclerc was lucky to keep the car in one piece but was forced to pit for a new wing.

He dropped to ninth after his stop and could only recover to sixth despite looking guaranteed to finish at least third.

Daniel Ricciardo extends olive branch to Carlos Sainz after crash [INSIGHT]
Charles Leclerc adds to Ferrari woes at Imola after major mistake  [ANALYSIS]
Carlos Sainz angry with Daniel Ricciardo as Ferrari star crashes out [PICS]

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto even admitted pressure was the main issue for Sainz’s poor start to the campaign. His crash in Imola was the Spaniard’s second successive retirement after he spun out during the opening stages of the Australian Grand Prix.

Binotto explained: “I think it’s a matter of managing the pressure. It’s maybe the first time in his career that he’s got a car which is fast enough to compete for the best positions, and he simply needs to get used to that.

“But he will do it very quickly because I know how smart and how capable he is.”

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