‘Smooth Operator’ Carlos Sainz receives his first customised Ferrari

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz in all red with hands to his head. Brazil November 2022

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in all red with hands to his head. Brazil November 2022

Carlos Sainz will be feeling like a true Ferrari star now that he has been presented with his customised model by the iconic brand.

For a Formula 1 driver, a perk of the job is often a company car to cruise around in when not hurtling around a race track in the team’s challenger.

Recently the Honda Civic Type-R GT, formerly belonging to and signed by Max Verstappen, went up for sale via auction.

And now Sainz’s trusty Golf may be taking a nervous gulp after the Spaniard received his customised Ferrari 812 Competizione.

Kitted out in a steel grey and black colour scheme, the car becomes unique to Sainz by sporting his ‘Smooth Operator’ nickname.

So, that is Sainz’s machinery sorted for off the track, but now we wait to see the 2023 challenger which Ferrari will deliver for Sainz and Charles Leclerc to compete in next season.

We already know the launch date, with Ferrari confirming that their new Formula 1 machine will be unveiled on February 14, which also just so happens to be Valentine’s Day.

Although the 2022 campaign rather fizzled out for Ferrari, when they were initially very much in the title fight, it was Leclerc mounting the Drivers’ Championship challenge against Verstappen, as Sainz fought to unlock the final few tenths needed.

Ultimately Sainz did make clear gains as the season progressed, though by that stage, Ferrari were largely left fighting to complete the podium behind Verstappen, who won 15 of the 22 grands prix.

Sainz though was firm when he heard of talk that the F1-75 had been developed more towards his style, shutting that down.

“I’ve read these somewhere, that they developed towards my style and I think it’s completely wrong,” he told media personnel, including PlanetF1.com, after the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“The car feels exactly the same as at the beginning of the season, I just learned how to drive it, I changed my driving style, personally fine-tuned the set-up a bit more to my liking.

“But the car didn’t develop in my direction or anything like that. So I hope this doesn’t get pointed out there because it’s completely fake and it’s not the real story of the year.”

Read next: Carlos Sainz on why Marc Márquez would be like Ayrton Senna in Formula 1