Carlos Sainz admits that Ferrari’s analysis of him before offering a seat for 2021 went far deeper than he initially thought.
The Spaniard will replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari for 2021 where he will partner Charles Leclerc.
Sainz enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 for McLaren in his first year with the team, scoring his maiden Formula 1 podium at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
And he admits that initially he thought that Ferrari’s analysis into him didn’t stretch far beyond that podium, and so it was the reason they approached him to be Vettel’s successor.
But as it turned out, they had dug much deeper before making that decision, something which was a “surprise” to Sainz.
Asked by ESPN how important that podium was to securing the Ferrari seat, Sainz said: “Of course it had an influence. I cannot deny a podium makes you be a bit more in the spotlight and people look at you.
“But from what I’ve seen from how the top teams analyse the drivers, it’s in a much more complete picture than what I thought at first. It’s a lot more detailed than I thought, so I’m sure they were looking into my previous seasons, not only into that podium in Brazil but also the consistency of the campaign and finishing P6 in the Drivers’ Championship.
“I think they analyse a lot more stuff than I thought, and this was a bit of a surprise, the amount of analysis the teams sometimes go into individually. So a good surprise because sometimes in the midfield you think they’re not looking into you too much or you’re not on TV much!”
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) July 21, 2020
Sainz has revealed that be hasn’t even visited Maranello yet where Ferrari are based, and won’t do for several months, due to his McLaren commitments.
Ferrari of course made the unusual decision to replace Vettel with Sainz for next year before the 2020 season even began.
“I’ve not been there yet,” he said when asked about a Maranello visit.
“For contractual reasons and for a matter of full commitment to my team, I’m not planning on being related to Ferrari or anything near Ferrari in the next couple of months.”
Sainz also said he is even more determined to depart McLaren on a high because of how they continue to support him and his move to Ferrari.
“It was mainly people happy for me and telling me ‘good job’ and I deserve it,” he said.
“The mechanics and everything had some nice words for me, which made me want to finish in a higher position ahead of my move next year, leave McLaren on a high just because of how much appreciation I got from everyone here, how comfortable they made me feel even after making such a tough and difficult decision.
“It was just a lot of respect and kind words from most people, really.”