Carlos Sainz says he is as prepared as he possibly can be for his first Ferrari race given the lack of running he got to do in pre-season.
Pre-season testing was far shorter in 2021 than it has been in previous years, consisting of just three days of running in Bahrain rather than the usual six.
This was far from ideal for the many drivers joining new teams for the coming season, including Sainz, who has left McLaren for Ferrari.
He wishes he had more time in the car, but does not think he can be any more prepared given the lack of opportunities there were.
“Probably not,” he said in Bahrain when asked if he was as prepared as his team-mate, Charles Leclerc.
“But from the opportunities available, I think we’ve actually done a pretty good job over the winter to get here as prepared as I can be. I’ve done a lot of simulator, the three days we did here we ran smoothly.
“I wish I had more mileage in the car, I wish winter testing would have been a bit longer than it was, but all things considered I feel like I’m ready to give it a go.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 25, 2021
Ferrari will be the fourth team Sainz has driven for in Formula 1 since joining the grid with Toro Rosso in 2015.
The Spaniard feels his experience of settling in at Renault and McLaren makes the process of doing so at Ferrari easier for him, and gives him a better idea of what to expect early on in terms of performances.
“I think it does help, obviously, having that experience of changing teams so often,” he said.
“What I’m obviously sure of is that in race one, you are never as ready as you are in a second or third year of experience with a car or with a team.
“But at the same time, if the feeling with the car is good and with the team is very good, you can still perform at a very high level.
“It’s very difficult to know exactly how long it will take any driver [to get comfortable]. There have been teams it took me one or two races, other teams where it took me definitely longer than that.
“Difficult to tell, and until I do the first few races I will not be able to really tell when I am getting closer to the limit of the car.”