Carlos Sainz reveals the secrets of his father’s historic Dakar Rally success

Mark Scott
Carlos Sainz Snr celebrates an incredible fourth Dakar Rally win at the age of 61.

Carlos Sainz Snr: A motorsport legend

Some words of advice and a whole bunch of experience was behind Carlos Sainz Sr’s amazing Dakar Rally success, his very proud son has revealed.

The legend of ‘El Matador’ is now further embedded into motorsport’s rich tapestry after the 61-year-old clinched his fourth Dakar Rally win with a fourth different constructor – Audi now joining Volkswagen, Peugeot and Mini.

Sainz Snr led the overall classification for almost the entire event and was surprised by his son at the finishing line, who travelled to Saudi Arabia to share this historic achievement with his father.

Carlos Sainz’s words of advice to his legendary father

Like all cheeky sons, Sainz Jnr is taking some credit for his dad’s latest success, revealing that he passed on some words of advice to him ahead of the iconic Dakar Rally event.

It appears his father listened as Sainz Snr was still able to win the event without claiming a single stage win along the way. But, ultimately, it was Sainz Snr’s incredible and vast experience that shone through.

“I asked him not to race hard every day because at the end of the day the Dakar is an endurance race and he likes to race a lot,” Ferrari driver Sainz said.

“He had to race a lot to win, but he was smarter than anyone else and managed the race as only he knows how.

“The Dakar was perfect, he did the smartest Dakar I’ve ever seen him do in my life. He managed it perfectly and showed that he also has experience.

“It has been a very long Dakar, a very hard Dakar with all kinds of terrain, all kinds of stages, some new ones like the 48-hour stage, the marathon that was there.

“There has been everything, and he has been able to get through it all. In the key stages is also where he has done the best, and that shows you that he has come very well prepared, very motivated and they have nailed it.”’s recommended reading

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Sainz Jnr will now be hoping some of his father’s success will transfer over to him as he continues to prepare for the F1 2024 season.

“2024 has started well, and now we have to continue like this for the Sainz family,” Sainz Jnr added.

“You can’t imagine the pride of a father, of a husband, of everything. Here are all his best friends, not just me, and there are all the people who love him and encourage him at every moment.”

Naturally, a new season will bring fresh hopes that Ferrari can deliver a car that is capable of race wins and perhaps even World Championship titles, but first for Sainz will be to resolve his future with the Scuderia as he enters the final year of his current contract.

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