Leclerc’s attitude questioned by Rosberg after Sainz went ‘over the edge’

Nico Rosberg has questioned the legitimacy of Charles Leclerc’s attitude towards the battle between himself and Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz after the pair enjoyed an intense wheel-to-wheel fight at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari duo had as many as five wheel-to-wheel encounters heading into the tight Variante della Rettifilo chicane with the battle for the final step of the podium heading down to the very final lap.

Despite Leclerc’s gutsy overtaking attempts Sainz, who had started the Grand Prix from pole position following a sensational qualifying display on Saturday, held on to seal his first podium of the season and extend his lead over the Monegasque driver in the Drivers’ Championship. 

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the incident, Rosberg said: “There’s something a bit strange, ‘I had such a lovely fight and it was such a great day and I’m going to have a beer with Carlos’.

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“I’m not sure about that. Carlos on one of those occasions was over the limit. He locked up on the inside and went off the track and took Charles with him. As team-mates, that’s the one where it’s a bit over the edge. 

“I’m not sure what’s going on there. I was trying to figure out ‘Is this genuine?’. I think it was genuine but I’m struggling. Is he too nice, or what’s going on?”

Despite Rosberg’s comments, Leclerc remained insistent that he was content with the way his Ferrari team-mate raced him as the pair gave the passionate Tifosi something to shout about, despite the outcome of a Red Bull one-two finish.

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Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Leclerc explained: “This is what racing should be all the time in my opinion. This reminds me of the karting days when we were all on the limits.

“With Max, we have had these battles in the past, with Checo we have had these battles in the past and with Carlos today, it was really on the limit. I personally really enjoyed it. There were so many moments where it was really tricky.

“But I don’t complain, this is why I love racing. The adrenaline you feel fighting each other, it was really fun. It was the limit from Carlos on the defending side, it was on the limit from me on the attacking side. It means so much to us both to be on the podium here, so we gave it our all.”

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