Carlos Sainz and Ferrari: reasons to be optimistic in 2021

Ferrari shows off its power with five days of winter testing and Sainz shows a perfect adaptation to the particularities of the Italian team.


It is always a good sign when an F1 is on the tarmac. Renault did it in the autumn, with several test days for Alonso and the rest of the young people who confirmed the commitment of the team and the economic power of the manufacturer, and Ferrari has done it this week with five days of training on the SF71H of 2018, more than 500 laps and about 1,500 kilometers on the Fiorano circuit. They went through there from Charles Leclerc to Mick Schumacher, but the protagonist was Carlos Sainz with some 170 opening laps that are equivalent to 500 kilometers.

The times are not official nor, in this case, relevant, but it is known that Sainz's were obviously competitive. As Leclerc warned, "if you're a Ferrari driver, you know what you're doing." In this media aspect of internal priorities, from the garage they warn that nobody has the intention of comparing between colleagues, because the priority is that the SF21 is competitive and the position in the constructors' championship, worthy (a third place, is not worth less). For that, they both need to add a lot. Although the sad end of Vettel, a four-time champion reduced to the minimum in 2020 (and fatigued, judging by his new look at Aston Martin), portends difficult months until a Ferrari wins races again and enables the benefit of the doubt.

The adaptation of Sainz to the particularities of a Ferrari is thus well advanced, in his batches he experimented with different set-up changes to get used to the behavior of the car, and above all he worked on the steering wheel procedures, exits, highlights and other formalities, they are taken for granted in any F1 driver but that, at some point, had to be consolidated with the new work team, engineers, mechanics and others. The two tenths that a car provides when it is known in depth are already closer. From March 12 to 14, the pre-season tests will be held in Bahrain (there is talk of a filming day on the 11th) and on March 28, the first GP of the year.

Regarding cultural adaptation, the mark is outstanding. Carlos has spoken perfectly Italian since his time at Toro Rosso, although he already handled himself well when he was riding in karting. Latino and passionate, like Ferrari, and in love with Italian cuisine (he will miss the lasagna from 'Valentina', his leading Italian restaurant in Woking), he agrees better than other Germanic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon personalities with the idiosyncrasy of this manufacturer. You just have to check in situ, in front of the Monza stands, the reactions that Alonso, Massa or Barrichello provoke in front of other more recent exes. Except for the Kaiser.

"Total confidence in the project"

In an interview recently published by the team, Sainz stated: “If there is a team on this grid that can be in front again, it is Ferrari. I have total confidence in the project and although the process takes time, I am sure that the team will be the winner again sooner rather than later ”. “From the first day I started racing there have only been two goals in my head: to be an F1 driver and to win the World Championship. After achieving the first, all my efforts are directed towards achieving the second and there is no better place than Ferrari to try it ”, warns the 26-year-old from Madrid, before his seventh F1 season. After going through Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren, this will be the stage that defines him as a driver. It is a long-distance race, thinking about the medium term and the 2022 rule change. But the traffic lights have already turned off and the start could not have been more accurate.

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