Sainz: "I don't know whether to qualify the Princess of Asturias as a triumph"

"At my time in the Spanish Rally Championship I came to compete here and I have very good memories," said the Dakar champion.


The Spanish pilot Carlos Sainz assured that he does not know "whether to qualify" as one of his best victories obtaining the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports 2020, but that he is clear that "it is a great pride" and that for him it is " a happy day "to receive the award this Friday in a land where he has most" enjoyed "competing.

"Yes, it is a great pride and a great satisfaction to receive this award. The athlete has many hard days, training, with troubles and difficult moments, and others in which things have another character and this is a pleasant and happy day Qualify it as a victory I don't know, but it is a day to be very happy, "Sainz said at a press conference from Oviedo, where he will receive the award this Friday.

The Madrilenian has good memories of Asturias, "probably together with the Canary Islands perhaps the place where there is the greatest love for the motor world through emblematic rallies such as the Prince of Asturias, now the Princess of Asturias". "In my time of the Spanish Rally Championship I came to compete here and I have very good memories of the great fans, great friends, and of very difficult races and roads, which skid a lot and with weather conditions that made them very difficult and that until you pass the finish line you should not be calm because the orbayo arrived and a classification changed. It is one of the places where I have enjoyed the most, "he added.

After acknowledging that this Thursday, with his family, he enjoyed a "fantastic dinner" in Oviedo and praised the "tremendous gastronomy" of the region, he was asked by an "illustrious" Asturian and friend like Fernando Alonso, whom he has not seen "and of the one who is" happy "for his return to Formula 1 because" it is what he most wanted ".

"I think this is good news for F1 and for Spain because in 2021 we have two drivers, Fernando at Renault, and my son Carlos at Ferrari, it is to be congratulations. Fernando wanted to face this challenge with a team that is getting better and better and better. I'm happy with him and for F1, "remarked the two-time world rally champion.

He didn't want to give her any advice anyway. "Just as I did dare to give him one for his first Dakar this year, I wouldn't dare now because he knows better than anyone what he has to do to prepare as best as possible for his re-entry into F1," he said.

Sainz believes that the Spaniard "knows better than anyone" the ins and outs of the 'Great Circus' and that "surely he will arrive well prepared" to get on the "fastest ever" cars. "I think that before the 2021 tests, he is going to get on the 2018 car to do a few kilometers and get to the preseason physically well," he said.

On the other hand, the current winner of the Dakar Rally in the car category, pointed out that with the coronavirus pandemic "what has varied the most" in his preparation to defend his title in 2021 is "in terms of riding the car" because which is the physical aspect "will not undergo many changes" .

"But for the races and the tests it has been different, as has been the case of not being able to go to Morocco and having to go to Andalusia. We have not been able to go to the places where you really test the car in the circumstances that you are going to find, but we hope to be able to go to Saudi Arabia in December to do a Baja or a short race to test the modifications we have made on similar terrain, "said the Spanish rider.

Finally, Carlos Sainz stressed that it was "a difficult answer" to give some kind of recommendation to combat the current situation with COVID-19. "It is such an atypical and abnormal situation that it is clear that we must all work as a team and face it each one in a personal way, giving the maximum and supporting each other and in an unselfish way," he said.

"This situation changes from day to day and the strategy to solve the problems and move forward is complicated, and it seems that we will have to wait until we have that vaccine. Now I believe that it is a more well-known disease and that we are in a much better situation, so I think that you have to learn to live with it, yes, with all the measures and protecting the people most at risk. But as far as possible I am in favor of trying to lead a 'normal' life, "he sentenced.

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