Christian Horner has admitted that he was concerned about the threat Carlos Sainz posed in the Canadian GP, with the Spaniard holding a unique threat with the one-stop strategy.
Max Verstappen took his sixth victory of the season in the streets of Montreal, extending his championship and preventing Red Bull from losing ground to Ferrari after the retirement of Sergio Perez.
Carlos Sainz, however, showed tremendous pace throughout the race, arguably putting together his best performance of the season and pushing the reigning World Champion all the way.
Christian Horner emphasised the Sainz threat on the F1 Nation Podcast, as quoted by gpfans:
"I think it's nip and tuck. If you look at the first sector we were quicker, but if you look at the middle sector they were a bit quicker and then in the last sector we were about the same. So it was really marginal.
What would have been interesting I think would have been to see, we were on a two-stop, they were on a one-stop and we would have had to make the pass for the win in the last five laps or so.
We think the tyres would have faded towards the end, it would have been a hell of a stint over 50 laps for him on that tyre. But they had a very quick car today and Carlos, he was on it."
There has been escalating intensity in the discussions about Carlos Sainz becoming the "number two" at Ferrari, after a difficult start to the season for the 27-year-old.
Ignoring his retirements in Imola and Australia, Sainz has struggled to match the pace of Leclerc and Verstappen in race trim this season, but he proved more than capable of fighting the #1 for victory.
Moving forward, Sainz must be sure to consistently continue this form and assert himself as a legitimate threat this season.