The origins of ‘Smooth Operator’ Sainz

Date published: December 27 2019 - Jamie Woodhouse

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Carlos Sainz has explained how Sade’s 1984 song Smooth Operator became a running joke for him in 2019.

After finishing P5 in Hungary, making it back-to-back finishes in that spot, Sainz ended the conversation over team radio with his engineer by saying ‘Thomas, you know what that was,’ before singing the song.

It would whip up something of a frenzy on social media and the Spaniard would let the lyrics loose again after finishing P4, later P3 in the Brazilian GP.

Talking about where the joke came from, as quoted by, Sainz said: “Just a song that kept coming up on the radio of the car [during] the British Grand Prix [weekend].

“I just started hearing it on the radio. And apparently it is quite a bit famous song.

“After the race [at the Hungaroring] I sang this song, without knowing what a smooth operator was. Then people in the team started telling me what was a smooth operator.

“And then I realised, well, maybe I can attribute myself that and start creating a bit of a joke around me.

“But uh, I didn’t sing it because I considered myself a smooth operator, because I didn’t know what a Smooth Operator was.”

And Sainz has looked through the YouTube comments regarding his “smooth operator” persona.

“Yeah, very funny that,” he said.

“I went through them, and there are some really funny comments, like this comments “we are here because of Carlos” and you see 1000 likes.”

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