Sainz resetting to ‘start from scratch’ at Ferrari

Tom Rawcliffe
Carlos Sainz Ferrari PA

Carlos Sainz Ferrari PA

Carlos Sainz knows from experience he needs to ‘start from scratch’ with Ferrari and reset everything he knew about his past cars.

Sainz has made the move from McLaren to the Scuderia, and moving teams is something certainly not new for the Spaniard, having represented four teams since his Formula 1 career began in 2015.

He has never had such a short period of time to get used to a new car, though, with this year’s pre-season testing of just three days meaning drivers have to quickly adapt.

“Personally, I’m not insecure,” said Sainz, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. “What I have is perhaps lack of experience and that last little bit of confidence to know that in race one, two and three I will get 100 per cent of the car’s potential.

“With a new car, there are so many things you have to change, to learn, to adapt to, and it is practically impossible to know that in the first race you are going to put it at 100 per cent.

“It is not insecurity, it is being realistic, being cautious, because you don’t know what you are going to find. And me, I assure you that after being in four different teams in six years I have realised that F1 is called F1 but each car could be called in a different way.

“Every car is a world, every car has its driving techniques, its braking style, its feeling with the steering wheel, with the throttle, transmission, gearbox, the buttons, how the car reacts to every input from the driver is totally different.

“Maybe for Sebastian (Vettel) who has been in a car longer (because of his many years at Ferrari), it will seem a bit aggressive. But as I’ve changed teams every two years, I’m more used to going through that difficult moment, that shock of suddenly finding yourself with a car that has nothing to do with the one you were used to driving.

“You have to reset all your references, all the things you are used to do, all the automatisms you have, both with the steering wheel and with the brake, as well as with the accelerator. Reset everything, forget everything you know and start again from scratch.”

He will team up with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, who now has two years experience under his belt with the Italians, and Sainz is hoping to learn from the young driver.

He said: “My philosophy in testing, with all the teammates, has always been to try to open the book of secrets a little bit and try to help each other. It’s the relationship I had with Lando and at Ferrari I’ve brought that spirit of trying to open the book a little bit and talk to each other to see how we can improve the car together.

“Today I have a lot more to learn than Charles and use his data more than he is going to learn from mine. I will use his feedback to try to get a good understanding of what he gets out of the car and how he is able every weekend to get the most out of the Ferrari.

“And so I’m going to work closely with him and try to learn as much as I can. I trust that he also has an open book and not a closed book and that we can learn from each other. But above all, more me from him than him from me.”

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