'I have not become number one' - Leclerc insists that Sainz will be on equal footing in 2021

Charles Leclerc (left) and his new team mate, Carlos Sainz. Image: TeamTalk
Charles Leclerc (left) and his new team mate, Carlos Sainz. Image: TeamTalk

Earlier this month, Charles Leclerc learnt that he would have a new team mate for next season with Sebastian Vettel leaving Ferrari and Carlos Sainz taking his place.

The Spaniard has been signed to a two-year deal, two years less than Leclerc’s contract which runs until the end of 2024.

With the Monégasque driver billed as the future of Ferrari, many pundits are wondering if Sainz has signed up to be Leclerc’s number two.

The two-time grand prix winners denies this.

Leclerc told L'Equipe: "Of course Carlos is going to challenge me, he is going to be very fast. I have not become number one. I think Carlos is a great driver and he is going to show it, if it is not obvious to everyone already. For me it will be a great challenge, different from driving alongside Vettel."

Do you think Sainz will play second fiddle to Leclerc in 2021? Email us.

Difference between Vettel and Sainz

One of the big differences is the experience of the two.

While 2020 will mark Sainz’s sixth season racing in Formula 1, it is Vettel’s 13th full season in the sport.

READ: Sainz signed as Ferrari's number two driver - Flavio Briatore

Leclerc feels he has learnt a great deal racing alongside the four-time World Champion.

He said: "It’s true that he taught me a lot of things. I’m very happy to have had him as a team mate, because he is a very experienced driver."

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