Sainz needs time to ‘change techniques’ for Ferrari

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz Ferrari Azerbaijan GP 2021, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz still adapting driving style to Ferrari.

Carlos Sainz says he is still adapting to the change of driving style he has had to work on since joining Ferrari.

Fortunes have been mixed for the drivers who switched teams between the 2020 and 2021 campaigns, but Sainz arguably was the one to find his footing the quickest with his new team.

After two years with McLaren, Sainz was chosen as Sebastian Vettel’s successor at Ferrari and already has repaid that faith with a P2 finish at the Monaco Grand Prix.

At the following round in Baku though, there was a Q3 crash for Sainz as well as a costly trip into the escape road on cold tyres come race day.

Just proof of Sainz’s words then that his adaptation to Ferrari machinery is an ongoing process.

“There are still things to improve, the process is ongoing. I have spent a lot of time in the factory to understand every detail of the car, also to understand why Charles [Leclerc] is so fast in qualifying,” he told AS.

“You can do a lot of things as a driver. Today’s F1 cars are very complex and you have to spend a lot of time on them. But if you don’t have the ability to adapt and be open, it’s impossible.

“I had to change techniques from McLaren to Ferrari. It’s complex and requires time and detail. I like the challenge, of course.

“But when you’re on the track and you’re two tenths off it’s not fun, because you have to get out of your comfort zone. You do a really good lap and all of a sudden Charles does it better.”

Carlos Sainz Ferrari

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Leclerc created frustration for his team-mate in a different way back in Monaco, with his Q3 crash ending the session and confirming pole position – a spot Sainz very much believed he could take for himself.

But thanks to the podium which followed on the Sunday, Sainz takes positives and negatives from that race weekend.

“I’m over it…but it’s a weekend I’ll remember for the good and the bad things,” he admitted.

“I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have on Sunday. I was still quite angry about Saturday and regretting not being on the front row because of the qualifying circumstances.

“On the Sunday, I felt second place wasn’t good enough with the pace we had over the weekend, but as the days went by I felt more content.”

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