With just 72 hours to go for the start of the Spanish Grand Prix, 4th round of the calendar, Ferrari´s racer Carlos Sainz has taken part in an online encounter with the national press this past Tuesday.
During the event, organized by his sponsor Estrella Galicia 0,0, the Spanish driver gave his overview of the current World Championship, both at an individual and general levels.
Sainz takes stock of his lacklustre performance in Portimao
Sainz, former McLaren racer, has a tendency to put both his successes and mistakes into perspective. True to his character, he interpreted what happened in Portugal as an inherent consequence of Formula One itself. Despite this, the Spaniard has acknowledged that he is working to understand the specific causes of his bad result in Portimao.
“These are normal things that happen in races, and which are bound to happen again. The sooner we have these experiences and this kind of tough races, the sooner I will learn from them and be able to fully understand how to work so as not to repeat the same mistakes“.
“We prepared a lot of different strategies and it seemed to me that the option of using the medium (compounds) was the most logical thing to do at the time. Nobody was able to foresee how tough (the car’s behaviour) would be”.
“We are trying to work out why the medium tires did not work. My car was understeering a lot more than (Lando) Norris’s. But we can’t ignore the fact that completing those three laps at the strong pace I had also contributed (to the drop in performance), of course”.
Adaptation to his Ferrari
Speaking about how he is adapting to his SF21, Carlos Sainz stated that he has already started taking certain risks in previous appointments. He acknowledged, however, that it will still take some time for him to be fully acclimatized to his new car and team.
“The only appointment where I did not take any chances was the first round in Bahrain. At Imola, I took risks in order to come back up, setting a very good rhythm in the wet. I also took risks during the classification round and at the start in Portimao“.
“Perhaps, I did not manage a very good re-start following the safety car. I have to fully control the car, the batteries, etc., but to be able to give a 100% as a Ferrari driver I still have some way to go”.
Defeating Leclerc in classifying
One of the weaknesses of #55 is his one-lap performance, consistently poorer than that of his teammate Charles Leclerc. In Portugal, however, he beat the Monegasque in qualifying, something that Carlos Sainz has played down in front of the press.
“I still don’t know all of the quirks or the specific style of the Ferrari car which would allow me to go faster on one single lap. Together with my engineers, we are working overtime on the telemetry and data analysis to be able to get the most out of the car”.
“Having performed better than Charles in Portimao (in qualifying session) does not mean that from now on I will do so in all races. I think I’m still a little behind, but it is a good sign. Regarding Charles, I think words are unnecessary. You all know how fast he is. I have to keep improving”.
Hamilton’s great state of form
Following Lewis Hamilton’s exhibition in Portugal, the #55 wanted to highlight the extraordinary talent and momentum of the seven-time champion.
“I was surprised by how easily he passed Verstappen and Bottas. In order to overtake as he did in F1, you have to either go much faster or have something special”.
“So, I think he’s at a very, very high level with his Mercedes, which is currently not faster than the Red Bull. The ability to go so fast in a race is incredible. My admiration and respect”.
Images of Carlos Sainz: Estrella Galicia 0,0.