‘Sainz must stay calm to avoid psychological difficulties’

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz speaks to media. Imola April 2022.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes Carlos Sainz will have “excellent results”, but just needs to keep his cool after a couple of tough weekends.

The Ferrari driver was tagged by Daniel Ricciardo on the first lap at Imola last time out, leaving him beached in the gravel and pointless for a second race in a row.

Sainz appreciated an apology from the Australian after the race, after admitting he’d made a mistake, but the Spaniard has now been left even further behind team-mate Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship standings after also retiring at the previous round in Melbourne, giving him an ever-increasing task to mount a title challenge of his own this season.

Sainz was frustrated but level-headed while doing the media rounds after his latest early exit, and Domenicali thinks that needs to continue if he’s to get his season back on track.

“These are episodes to be managed psychologically, he just has to stay calm and he will surely achieve excellent results,” Domenicali told TV channel Rai 2, quoted by Sky Italia.

“Carlos Sainz is a very talented driver, unfortunately Ricciardo touched him on a slippery track. But these are episodes that, if you don’t handle them well, you get into psychological difficulties that you don’t have to face.

“He has renewed his contract with his team for another two years, so the guarantees are there, he just has to stay calm and he will surely do well.”

Max Verstappen went on to take victory at Imola at the weekend, passing Leclerc on his way to victory, with the Monegasque driver spinning while chasing down Sergio Perez for P2 in the race.

The Formula 1 boss thinks the reigning World Champion has matured since taking the title last season, but the strength in depth in the sport is what encourages him most.

“He is a champion, he showed it in his stubbornness until the last corner last year and he has shown it in the past as well,” Domenicali said.

 

“He is maturing as a driver, he knows how to handle the car and he knows when to attack. He’s a champion, as is Leclerc and many others.

“The beauty of Formula 1 in recent years is certainly the presence of talented drivers.”