5 reasons why Carlos Sainz has settled so quickly at Ferrari
June 2 2021 , 11:08 pm
When Carlos Sainz signed for Ferrari, many felt he was doing so as Charles Leclerc’s wingman. That is despite the Spaniard arriving at Maranello with two consecutive top-six finishes in the drivers’ championship, having played a critical role in McLaren’s recovery that left them up in P3 in the constructors’ championship.
One of Sainz’s outstanding qualities is his mental strength and so he let such chatter wash off his back. He was going to Ferrari to compete both for the team and for himself – and he’s delivered from the very first moment he turned the wheel of the world’s most famous racing car.
After six races, he is seventh in the drivers’ championship, just two points behind incumbent Leclerc – who is in his third season with Ferrari. And he gave the Prancing Horse their first podium of 2021, with second in Monaco.
1. Relocation, relocation, relocation
The world is your oyster when you’re a Formula 1 driver looking for somewhere to live. Many choose Monaco, others Switzerland, others choose their homeland, but for some they choose proximity to their team and are happy to jump about depending on who they are racing for at the time.
2. Putting the hours in
It’s clear that Sainz already has a very strong bond with the team, you could see that in the way they embraced after his podium in Monaco, and in particular with his team of engineers.
3. Using Ferrari’s advantages to his advantage
With testing so limited these days, Sainz did at least have the benefit of one run (just one run) in a 2018-spec Ferrari at their Fiorano test track before he headed to pre-season testing. The likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel did not get to enjoy such old car run outs with their new teams.
4. Being adaptable behind the wheel
Swapping teams isn’t easy, especially with so little testing – just ask race winners Vettel, Ricciardo and Perez – but Sainz has made a habit of making it look so.
Since his debut in 2015, he has raced with Toro Rosso, Renault, McLaren and now Ferrari. With each change, and with more experience, he has been able to adapt quicker and quicker.
5. Using his ‘team player’ mentality
Anyone who had had the pleasure of meeting anyone from the Sainz family will know they are engaging and driven people who are lovely to get on with and dedicated to the task in hand, so it’s no surprise then that not only had Sainz Jr got on well with every team he’s worked with, but he’s also had good relationships with team mates.