Sainz, Vasseur deny Ferrari disunity in 2024

Mon, 19 February 2024, 09:00

Feb.19 (GMM) Carlos Sainz and Frederic Vasseur have played down claims that team dynamics at Ferrari this year will be shattered due to the Spaniard’s looming exit.

When news broke of Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell move to Maranello next year, 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve predicted troubled waters ahead in the red camp.

“Sainz will have zero interest in working for Ferrari now,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He won’t give a damn what they want from him.

“All he’ll strive for now is putting himself on display.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen predicts similarly troubled times ahead for Mercedes, who will have to lock Hamilton out of “certain meetings” as the season progresses.

“It seemed like it (the news) was a bit leaked and they had to announce it,” said the reigning world champion. “To announce something that big that early in the season, I think the rest of the year will be a little bit awkward.”

For Sainz, however, it’s a slightly different situation – given that the Spaniard is yet to secure an alternate seat for 2025, and has historically been expected to play a team game at Ferrari above all else.

Team boss Frederic Vasseur, though, says Ferrari will continue to support the 29-year-old.

“In this situation, the team is behind him,” he told France’s Auto Hebdo. “We had a long discussion and as you can imagine I will fully support Carlos.

“He is fully committed and we know we have to do the work together. We are professional,” Vasseur added.

Sainz also bristled at the suggestion that he will no longer be a team player in red this year.

“I have always been a team player. Everyone in Formula 1 knows this,” he insists. “I have always behaved in an exemplary manner.

“In other words, of course I will help Charles (Leclerc) if it is asked of me. But on the other hand, I also expect him to help me if I’m fighting for the title.”

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