David Coulthard said it looked as if Carlos Sainz has “been doing workouts with Mike Tyson” such was the Spaniard’s feistiness of late.
Sainz is like a man reborn having secured two poles in the last two races and a victory in Singapore, moving from a possible second driver at Ferrari to the leading star.
Away from the track, Coulthard took note of the demeanour of Sainz who he commented was arriving at the track in a no nonsense manner.
Carlos Sainz poses an intimidating presence says David Coulthard
For any driver, confidence is a huge factor in their performance and can often be the difference between a qualifying lap that gets you in the top 10 and one that gets you pole position.
Sainz may not have always seemed the most confident driver, one that is perhaps swayed by emotions, but in the last few races he has approached the track with a single mindedness to be at his best and it has been picked up on by Coutlhard.
“He’s studied hard and he’s had one of the best drivers over a single lap pace to really learn from. Charles [Leclerc] has been exceptional when it came to extracting single lap pace his entire career,’ Coulthard said on Channel 4. “But the last couple of races you have to acknowledge Carlos has been phased in.
“It’s almost like he’s been doing some workouts with Mike Tyson or something because he’s arriving at the track looking like ‘don’t look at me, I’ll punch you’ and it’s definitely improving his ability to sort of get the car by the scruff of the neck. That was a brilliantly owned qualifying lap [in Singapore.]”
As for Sainz’s compatriot, Coulthard said it was a tougher day for Fernando Alonso.
“Very off form for Fernando,” Coutlhard said. “Made that mistake coming into the pit lane, yes it is a tricky pit lane and having made some mistakes in pit lanes that can happen, but on the radio he was saying the car is undriveable and for the first time it seemed as if Fernando was throwing in the towel.
“That’s normally not at all the way he is. He’s just an absolute samurai fighter and just keeps going. Afterwards he looked like he’d really been through the wars and looked every one of his 42 years.”