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‘It gave them a heart attack’ – Charles Leclerc brilliantly pranked Ferrari staff on final lap of Bahrain GP

CHARLES LECLERC played a joke on his Ferrari team on the final lap of the Bahrain GP – telling his engineer his engine was broken.

The Ferrari ace was leading the race when he radioed them with the prank just moments before crossing the line.

Ferrari star Charles Leclerc pulled off a prank on his engineers at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Leclerc, who started on pole and had led every lap, held off Max Verstappen, who suffered a fuel pump failure and retired.

Leclerc said: “I did a bit of a joke on the radio on the last lap, saying that there was something strange with the engine.

“It gave a heart attack to some of the engineers I’m sure, but everything was fine. So yeah, very happy that this time we brought it home.”

Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was second and is set to be rewarded with a new contract after impressing since joining from McLaren.

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Sainz, 27, was quizzed if he was close to agreeing terms about extending his stay with the Italian team.

He added: “We are very, very close. Extremely close. Nearly there.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed the deal has been agreed and that it only needs to be drawn up for Sainz to sign.

He said: “We found an agreement, it’s only a matter to translate it into paper.”

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Meanwhile, Lando Norris says he expects “a bit of pain” as McLaren struggle to iron-out their problems.

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Norris, who had an impressive campaign in 2021, was only 15th quickest in Bahrain and one place behind his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

He said: “I’m expecting pain, and I think everyone needs to know there’s probably going to be a bit of pain.

“As McLaren, and myself, we expect a lot more, but it’s not what we have at the minute.

“We have to get used to it, we’ve been in this position a few years ago but we have to remain optimistic the team and everyone back at the factory can figure things out and we can get back on track.”

Carlos Sainz is set to sign a new deal with Ferrari

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