Carlos Sainz: “There are things with the Ferrari that still don’t come naturally”


The Spanish driver Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) confessed that currently “there are things” that he does not get to come out “still naturally” at the wheel of the ‘F1-75’ and that he does not see himself “at the level” that he offered in 2021 in his first year in the Italian team, where he is going to “experiment a little” in the last four races of the Formula 1 World Championship.

“I think I have some things with this car that still don’t come naturally to me and I would need to change a lot. Now I’m at a decent level where I’m confident I can get good results and be consistent,” said Sainz this Thursday during the press conference. preview of the United States Grand Prix.

The man from Madrid warned that sometimes you drive a car and you already know that “you’ve done a good lap without even looking at the time and that neither your partner nor anyone else is going to go faster”, and that in his case this year while driving he needs to “think a lot” and that he loses “thousandths” for it. “It’s ok and I can do it, I’ve been pretty quick lately, especially in one lap, but it’s still not ideal for a racing driver,” he clarified.

Sainz thinks that this year he has not been able to overcome or be closer to his teammate Charles Leclerc due to “the beginning of the season” of the Monegasque. “Lately I’ve gotten more up to date and I’m driving better, but it’s true that the car is not perhaps at the level it was at the beginning of the year or let’s say that Red Bull has taken a step forward and it’s not that easy to get pole position. ‘ Or a win like it could have been earlier in the year,” he said.

“Clearly Charles has done a better job this year, both in driving and executing the race and felt more comfortable with the car. I’ve been in this fight all year to try to get to a level similar to last year, but I don’t think it’s there,” he said.

The Ferrari driver also made it clear that he doesn’t mind taking fourth place overall from George Russell (Mercedes). “Being fifth or fourth doesn’t change my life as a driver, obviously I only care about winning and having a good season. I know this year hasn’t been easy and the setback in Japan wasn’t ideal either because it made me lose even more points in this fight. If I can finish fourth, I stay fourth, but I would rather win a race before the end of the year, even if that doesn’t mean I finish fourth.”

The Spaniard also knows that in the ‘Scuderia’ it is “important to try to win, get podiums and be consistent”. “Obviously this would bring fourth place, but I’m focusing more on that than the championship,” he stressed.

Sainz has always scored points in the COTA and hopes to be in the front this weekend because he has “a competitive car” on any circuit. “We are fighting for almost all the pole positions, although the victories are more complicated because for some reason Red Bull, in the race, manages to take a step that we don’t have, or that recently we don’t have as much,” he stressed.

“We’re working on that and we’re taking these last four races to experiment a little bit, to see how we can be a little bit more competitive in the race or how we can improve our tire management. We have next year’s tires here for Friday, and It will be a key part of understanding where we are also lacking in his management for next year and trying to improve,” he added.


Regarding the possible sanction against Red Bull for exceeding the cost limit in 2021, he recalled that “all the teams and all the drivers” only want “clarity and equality”. “I just hope that if there’s a penalty, it’s relatively important to take away his appetite to spend two or three million more to waste on next year’s car because he thinks it’s worth more. If there’s a cost cap, follow it and just I hope the FIA ​​makes the right decisions to make sure everyone follows it.”

Finally, the Madrilenian gave all the credit to Max Verstappen for his second title. “It’s quite obvious that he’s done a very good job, especially after a not easy start to the season with a couple of DNFs and how he managed to bounce back and rack up a lot of wins at a lot of good times throughout the year, stay consistent and be strong in the areas where I have not been able to be as much. Congratulations to him and Red Bull because they fully deserve it,” he confessed.

In this sense, he is “sure” that the Dutchman has evolved since they shared the box at Toro Rosso because “eight years in Formula 1 is a lot”. “There isn’t an area that he hasn’t evolved and the way he’s managed to keep doing it step by step and improving everything. Now he’s maximizing also having a competitive car, which is something you need in F1 to win because if no, you’re never going to,” he warned.