Sainz trying to copy some of Leclerc’s style in SF21

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz share a joke. Bahrain March 2021.

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz share a joke at the pre-season testing photoshoot. Bahrain March 2021.

Carlos Sainz has said he is definitely trying to emulate part of team-mate Charles Leclerc’s driving style at Ferrari.

The Spaniard is contesting his first season with the Scuderia, and already has delivered two podiums with P2 at the Monaco Grand Prix and P3 in Hungary.

His total of 97.5 points in the Drivers’ standings also makes for pleasant reading, with Leclerc only 6.5 points up the road.

That being said, there has been a great deal of frustration recently for Sainz, with a lack of feeling for the rear of his Ferrari, and several costly unforced crashes.

And so, since he does not yet feel comfortable behind the cockpit of the SF21, Sainz is always keen to observe the work of Leclerc and take inspiration from that.

“Of course Charles knows pretty well how to drive this car, after being at Ferrari for three years now,” Sainz told Sky Germany.

“It’s true that I’m am trying to copy some of his driving style. I just want to absorb everything he knows about the car.”

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto said he was still waiting for the perfect weekend from Sainz, but far from upsetting him, the Spaniard said his boss is simply repeating his own words.

“I think he stole that quote from me, I see it the same way,” said Sainz.

“Sometimes I have done almost everything right but it never was perfect. But the good thing is, even so, it is going well.”

Carlos Sainz ahead of Daniel Ricciardo during the Hungarian GP. Hungaroring August 2021.

Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari merchandise is available via the official Formula 1 store

This season Ferrari’s focus is on beating McLaren to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

However, just as it appeared that the Scuderia were wrestling away control in this fight, McLaren scored a one-two finish on Ferrari’s home turf of Monza, allowing them to open up a 13.5-point gap over their rivals.

But, looking further ahead, Sainz said that returning to winning ways is the only goal for Ferrari under the new regulations in 2022.

“Ferrari wants to race for titles, that’s how we see ourselves,” said Sainz.

“I, too, have come here to make my contribution to winning it.

“Next year, everything is possible. Our priority is 2022, we have to be ready when the new regulations come.”