Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has revealed the team listened to all of Carlos Sainz’s radio messages before deciding to hire him.
When it was announced Sebastian Vettel was to leave Ferrari, there were various rumours over who would be given the opportunity to take his place.
The Scuderia opted for Sainz in May 2020 just half a year on from his greatest season in Formula 1, finishing P6 with 96 points for McLaren, and the Spaniard went on to better that total last season with 105.
It was not just his results on track that made up the minds of Binotto and co though, as the Ferrari team carefully listened to his radio communications to get more of a sense of his character.
Quoted by Formula1.com, team principal Binotto said: “Before we made him an offer, we listened to all his radio communications just to see the way he was communicating, and you can see the way he is communicating is somehow telling you a lot about the way he is approaching the exercise – very precise, I think.
“He’s a hard worker, he’s methodical, he’s robust, and I think they were all components that were important for us.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) January 20, 2021
A big improvement to Sainz‘s overall consistency came in 2020, with the McLaren driver making it to Q3 on all but three occasions compared to eight in the previous season.
His race performances also improved as he gained six top-five finishes, building on his four in 2019.
Binotto added: “In the race, [Sainz is] consistent – he is fast, he is defending, he is attacking – bringing always the car to the finish line in a consistent way, so I think he is a good driver to build a good season on of Constructors’ [Championship points].
“Then we made an analysis on his speed. I believe he is fast, we believed he was fast, and I think he has proved even this season to be very fast if you are comparing to [Lando] Norris who already last year proved to be a very fast driver.
“But if you look at Carlos in 2020, I think in the comparison he has been very strong. I think he improved himself in quali compared to before and is still very strong in the race. So he is a hard worker.
“On top of that he is young, which is why I think he’s got many years of experience in F1 – he’s still a young driver so he’s got a lot of time to develop, and he’s not certainly at the end of his career.”