Sainz receives his ‘first shock’ back driving a F1 car

Mark Scott
Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari cockpit. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

A view under the halo of Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari cockpit. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

Carlos Sainz was grateful for the chance to blow off some winter cobwebs at Fiorano, saying his body felt the “first shock” of the 2022 season.

Both Sainz and Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc were in pre-season action on Thursday, taking a session each inside the SF71H as part of a three-day event for the Scuderia which concludes with academy driver Robert Shwartzman returning to the car on Friday, having first tested on Wednesday.

Sainz and Leclerc completed over 100 laps between them on a cold day in the province of Modena, and the former was glad to be back inside a 2018 Formula 1 car to give a guaranteed full body workout.

“It’s always useful, but also to be back in a 2018 F1 car is good fun,” Sainz said following his session.

“It’s a combination of useful because as an athlete, or as an F1 driver, you receive your first shock to the body. It is just: ‘whoa, yeah, I’m an F1 driver, I need to drive this beast!’

“You also need to hit the neck, hit the lower back, the glutes, everything for the body to remind itself that it is the body of an F1 driver and it is tough.

“And also for the mind, getting back used to the speeds that we go. Also for talking with the engineers, developing a bit the setup of this car, trying to make it more to my liking. You get back in the loop and it’s always good fun.”

Sainz has already seen Ferrari’s 2022 challenger and it appears everyone is going to be in for a shock with how different the cars are going to look under new regulations.

“I’ve seen it in a lot of PowerPoint presentations and in the wind tunnel,” he added.

“The 2022 car is, let’s say, very different to what we have seen in the last few years in Formula 1.

“I also cannot wait to show it to the tifosi. It is like we have a secret, but we want to tell a secret as soon as possible. Let’s see.

“It’s not long now. I’m particularly keen on showing the car to all the tifosi, but also driving it as soon as possible.”


Team-mate Charles Leclerc added: “2022 is going to be a very important year. It is a very special year because we have a completely new car.

“I’m really looking forward to be in Barcelona for the first winter testing to try this car.

“And hopefully with all the work that we’ve done in the past year to get to this point, we will be as competitive as we all want to be.”

Having recovered to a P3 finish in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021, Ferrari will feel they won’t be a million miles away from being touted as title contenders again if they do manage to make a good start in Formula 1’s new chapter.


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