The 2022 season has been difficult for Carlos Sainz, who is failing to replicate his impressive performances from his debut season with Ferrari.
Sainz had a strong season last year, proving capable of acclimatising to a new team with relatively little pre-season testing and doing well to push Leclerc consistently.
Speaking to motorlat.com, Sainz has explained why his season has been so troubled;
"For my part, it has been extremely difficult to get any kind of momentum.
Every time I have a good race, the next race, something happens. The year has been extremely frustrating on that side.
It's part of the experience and part of the process. I think we've been pretty solid as a team, honestly, this year. There have been some hiccups here and there, but I think the team is doing a very good job...
We just have to make sure we stay calm, stick together and react accordingly.
On a personal note, it's frustrating, very frustrating, because it's extremely difficult to get any kind of momentum.
Again, a retirement on lap nine, another 40-50 laps without doing any learning with the car, which is hugely frustrating."
The season is still young, giving Sainz another 14 rounds to rectify a tricky start. All things considered, he should be pleased that he is only 33 points behind his teammate Leclerc in the standings.
A title challenge from Sainz is unlikely, especially given Ferrari's poor reliability, but the Spaniard must ensure that he re-establishes himself in the team.
Charles Leclerc's speed this year has made him the definitive team leader, and whilst Sainz's future with the Scuderia is secure, he cannot allow himself to become a rear gunner for Leclerc.
Sainz is undoubtedly willing to play the team game, but he must quickly address the battering he is suffering at Leclerc's hands in both qualifying and race.