Saturday, November 26

Carlos Sainz: “The idea is to have a winning Ferrari in 2022”

En the final stretch of his first season with Ferrari and after collecting three podiums, the first victory for Carlos Sainz Vzquez de Castro (Madrid, 1994) is getting closer and closer. His benefits continue to rise in a year in which there was no preparation and he had to learn everything along the way. In his conversation with MARCA, he is convinced that succeeding with Ferrari and it slides the high hopes they have for 2022 with the total change of cars.

Question. I was hoping to take three podiums at this point in the season.

Answer. It has been a busy season and there have been more chances to qualify for the podium, because the grid has been tighter. There have been teams from the middle zone like Ferrari, McLaren, AlphaTauri or Alpine that have had more opportunities and it has been shown that F1, with a little more equality, can be a lot of fun.

Q. What has surprised you the most about Ferrari?

R. Many things, but maybe the extra support you get for being at Ferrari in every country you go to. You do not just believe it, no matter how much they tell you, until you live it.

Q. That aura of the best squire in the world is justified then …

R. Yes, absolutely and that I have not been able to live it 100% due to the restrictions of the pandemic.

Q. Your adaptation without almost testing has been on the fly, what role has Riccardo Adami, who was the Vettel engineer, played in being on a par with Leclerc almost from the beginning?

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R. Fundamental. He like the rest of the engineers are an extension of the pilot. You need their support, that they understand you and that they guide you, especially in the first races, when they didn’t know anything about the car. And each car is a world in F1 that reacts differently throughout the race in terms of settings and each environmental condition, such as wind or temperature. It gave me a lot of peace of mind and confidence knowing that I was going to work with him from the beginning. He has been with everything a four times world champion like Vettel and the experience he has is noticeable.

Q. And you still say that you are not one hundred percent with the car, will it be at the end of 2021 or do you leave it for 2022?

R. In Mexico and Brazil, I do believe that I took 100% out of the car, which is something that I have not been able to do in all races this year. Now I start to find myself very close, although there is always a tire, a curve or the same exit that surprises you, because it is the first time that I have been with this car. I see that I am getting closer and closer to the maximum.

Q. And the car of 2022? Will it be the one of the return to victories for Ferrari?

R. That is the intention. We have been working on this project since January and you have had the opportunity to see them, because I have visited the wind tunnel several times and I have climbed the simulator in it many times as you can imagine. And we are in that uncomfortable time in which yes, we are doing our homework, we believe that we are progressing and we are going in the right direction and we do not know where others are, hence that impatience. We won’t know until Barcelona (February 2022 test), but I can assure you that Ferrari is doing everything in our power to have a winning car again next year “.

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Q. It is said that it is a very slow car, very heavy, that is the feeling it has.

R. That was the feeling in January. When talking to other drivers and other teams, he already tells you, “they are not so slow anymore”, that means that everyone has improved their car a lot in these months. That’s why it’s uncomfortable, because you wonder how much they have improved and how much you have.

Q. Where is it forbidden to fail in the new car? It is said that the motor will have less influence …

R. Nowhere. If you want to be a champion, decide what weaknesses Mercedes or Red Bull have this year. We must be the best in everything, in the engine, in the chassis, in the way we treat the tires, which is a weak point, in the ‘pit-stops’ in the strategy, in everything if we want to be champions again and beat the best now that they are Mercedes and Red Bull.

P. But when the ground effect returns and being able to stick better to the one in front, perhaps the power is relativized.

R. I think not, the engine will continue to be very important and it is also a frozen engine and you have to be sure that we trust it to compete at the highest level for the next three or four years (2022-2024). In that sense you are tied hands there. What I do agree is that with the return of the ground effect, the aerodynamics takes on much more importance. There has not been a car like this for 30 years and it is a fresh start for many of the young engineers, it is a challenge for everyone.

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Q. Have you talked to the Maranello veterans who were there then?

R. Yes sure. The factory has brought in people and has asked anyone who has experience in that sense or who had it in his day within Ferrari. Young engineers, moreover, are more and more prepared and in F1 there are the best of the best in everything, it is a place where you meet very curious people.

P. Your points are being decisive to fight for the third with McLaren, the season is very good, in the absence of that first victory, to arrive.

R. Well, it will have to fall under its own weight …

P. Maybe you miss a massive presence of Carlos Sainz in the media or in more advertising projects.

R. My father has instilled in me that a little good and selected is better than being everywhere, a little that way. I like to do things that I am comfortable with. I am open to any project, but it is something that should come naturally, without forcing it.

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