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.
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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.”