Sainz ‘doesn’t get the credit he deserves’

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz embrace. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Ferrari team-mates Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc congratulate each other. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Beating Charles Leclerc despite 2021 being his first season at Ferrari, F1 pundits feel Carlos Sainz does not “get the credit he deserves”.

Sainz joined Ferrari at the start of the 2021 season, pundits and fans alike questioning whether he had made the right move swapping McLaren for Ferrari.

Not only did McLaren look the better team in 2020, but Ferrari were paying the consequences for being embroiled in an engine scandal.

Sainz was adamant though, that time would tell if he had made the right call or not. It seems he did.

Although it was McLaren who won a grand prix last season, Ferrari beat them in the Constructors’ Championship while Sainz finishing the season best of the rest outside the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers.

P5 in the Drivers’ standings, he beat his former team-mate Lando Norris by 4.5 points while his new team-mate, Charles Leclerc, was P5 – although only 5.5 points adrift.

However, beating Leclerc by any margin, and at a team that has already backed the Monégasque as their future, was an impressive feat.

Carlos Sainz walks onto the podium after finishing P3. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, F1 journalist Tom Clarkson said: “When Carlos was Max’s team-mate at Toro Rosso back in 2015, I think in qualifying they were separated on average the whole season by less than a tenth of a second.

“I’m sure Max has improved a lot, but sure Carlos would have improved as well.

“It’s weird, I think some times he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, Sainz, and I don’t know why because he has done a fantastic job this year.”

The 1996 World Champion Damon Hill added: “He is a grower isn’t he?

“They [Ferrari} are saying that he has learned a lot, that’s the thing about Carlos, he’s got talent, he’s got ability and I think he is really quite smart.

“He’s done a good job, he’s a nice lad.”


But, he added, “when you talk about the next generation coming through, I think a lot of people would say Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris… Carlos needs to be in that group and I’m not sure everybody puts him there.”


PlanetF1 Verdict


Pundits say Sainz doesn’t get the credit ‘he deserves’

F1 pundits believe that Carlos Sainz deserves more credit.