Former F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari has praised Carlos Sainz by saying he is “unstoppable” when he has full control of the car.
Alguersuari spent three seasons at Toro Rosso between 2009 and 2011, during which time he met his fellow Spaniard Sainz who was a member of Red Bull’s junior programme.
Sainz went on to leave the Red Bull group, firstly for Renault followed by McLaren and now Ferrari, but Alguersuari spent enough time with his compatriot to get to know his best qualities.
The 32-year-old said he believed when Sainz was in full control of the car he was “unstoppable”.
“I can talk specially on Carlos’ side because I know him [a] very, very long time since our Red Bull days in the junior team programme,” Alguersuari said on Sky Sports F1’s Any Driven Monday. “I think Carlos is a super-complete driver, he’s a dynamic driver.
“This doesn’t mean he’s a very explosive driver on making these amazing qualifying laps, which he also has, but he needs to have all this kind of confidence where he understands the car, where he really is controlling the situation with everything, and then he can deliver his very best and when he does, he’s unstoppable.”
Sainz is currently fifth in the Drivers’ standings having been overtaken by George Russell following the Dutch Grand Prix, and with a suspected engine penalty coming his way that situation may not change this weekend at Monza. Alguersuari said Sainz’s ability should not be underestimated though.
“We’ve seen Carlos doing some mistakes at the beginning of the season because he was not feeling comfortable with the rear of the car,” he said. “He was not feeling comfortable in Australia, Imola, many races at the beginning of the year, in Canada, and then all of a sudden we feel like he just came back and he managed to improve his performance in qualifying.
A special helmet for a special GP. FORZA FERRARI!! 💛
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) September 8, 2022
“He’s doing amazing races. We can’t forget he beat Charles [Leclerc] in his first year at Ferrari. So I do rate him as one of the top and best [natural] drivers in F1.”
Alguersuari also praised the Ferrari man’s mentality, which he said was “super-important” for a Formula 1 driver.
“He has an amazing head,” Alguersuari explained. “He deals with pressure like anybody else I see in the field. He stays calm when people and press are talking, which is super-important in Formula 1, to keep your head chilled.
“I think there is still some more performance from his side. I really want to see how how he finishes the season and how everything goes for him because I just see his improving curve is just getting better and better.”