Carlos Sainz: Expert discusses decision by Ferrari
Carlos Sainz is hoping he can use Lewis Hamilton’s rise at Mercedes as inspiration ahead of his debut season with Ferrari. After two campaigns with McLaren, Sainz will drive for Ferrari as team-mate to Charles Leclerc. The Spaniard claimed his second podium finish in his career at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix and finished sixth in the driver’s championship for a second successive season.
Sainz has signed a two-year contract with Ferrari, which he thinks is the minimum drivers should get when joining a new team.
The 26-year-old says he hopes he can develop as a driver if given time, like Hamilton when he joined Mercedes.
But Sainz admits the pressure will be on from the first race of the new season.
“Pressure in Ferrari is always high,” Sainz told autosport.com.
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“It doesn’t matter about the number of years on the contract, and I’m the first one that is wanting to be as fast as possible out of the box.
“But for me a two-year deal is important. It’s one of the things that I’ve always said since I joined McLaren and obviously since joining Ferrari, for a driver to have a bit of stability in a team is always important.
“I feel like in McLaren in my second year, I extracted a lot more out of the car than in my first year.
“And if you see people like Daniel Ricciardo in the Renault, you can clearly see how important it is to take a bit of time to know the car.
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“You see the Charles Leclerc of today versus the Charles Leclerc of a year-and-a-half ago when he joined Ferrari, he’s a different Charles.
“If you see the Lewis of today compared to the Lewis of 2013 when he joined Mercedes, he’s different.
“You know a lot better how to extract the performance of the car.”
Like other drivers, Sainz will have limited testing ahead of the 2021 season.
But it is a challenge he is willing to meet head on.
He added: “I know that I’m going to arrive to Ferrari, and I’m going to need my races and my experiences to get to know how to extract the maximum out of that car.
“If you add that it looks like I’m going to get one-and-a-half days of testing, and I’m going to go straight into my first race with only one day and a half of testing in a brand new car.
“For me it’s going to be a tough thing to do. But I like those kind of challenges. I’ll try and adapt myself as well as possible and as best I can, and see what I can get out of it.”
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