Carlos Sainz feels that, despite the “huge responsibility” of driving for Ferrari, he does not feel it has changed him as a person.
The Spaniard has received widespread praise throughout the season for how well he has adapted to driving for the Scuderia, with former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari recently going so far as to say he could have World Champion potential within him.
Sainz currently sits half a point ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc in the World Championship standings, with the pair having formed a strong working partnership at Ferrari this year.
But having made the move from another of the sport’s most famous teams in McLaren, Sainz says he has got used to the sensation of driving for the Scuderia.
“It does feel real, when you finally realise it, and you just live with it,” he said in an interview with Autosport.
“It’s a strange situation because one day you wake up saying: ‘Okay I’m going to be a Ferrari driver.’
“So how does it feel? It’s still the same Carlos. It is still the same guy. It is still the same driver, with the same passion, with the same talent, doing the job.
“It’s just that you are doing it for Ferrari. That is such a huge responsibility, and especially when you drive in Italy. This is the biggest thing.”
🤤 Like a kid in a candy store!! Which color would you pick for your dream car? Updates soon!!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) October 19, 2021
While Sainz is well used to the attention that comes with being a Formula 1 driver overall, and the added attention that comes by driving the scarlet car, it’s hardly surprising that he noticed the biggest difference in how he is treated came at the team’s home race back in September.
However, he still feels the added intensity has not changed him as a person.
“When you go to Monza, then you suddenly realise what it is to be a Ferrari driver. You feel it all around the world,” he said.
“But when you go to Monza and when they opened up a bit there in Monza and the few events that we had there, then you suddenly realise, ‘okay this is huge!’
“This is even bigger than what I imagine. But you’re still the same Carlos, and nothing changes in that sense.”