Ferrari not expecting Sainz to be "fully integrated" by first F1 race

Ferrari Formula 1 chief Mattia Binotto is not expecting Carlos Sainz to be fully integrated with the team by the start of the new season in Bahrain.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari

Sainz will make his first public appearance in a Ferrari F1 car later this week when pre-season testing gets underway at the Bahrain International Circuit.

But, with just three days of testing this year before the first race of the season in Bahrain, drivers changing teams have been left with a limited window in which to get up to speed.

Although Ferrari has tried to assist Sainz's integration at Maranello by arranging private tests in recent F1 cars and plenty of simulator mileage, team boss Binotto acknowledged he may not be completely adjusted by the opening race.

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"Only three days of winter testing is very short time," Binotto said.

"We know that for Carlos that will be a challenge. We organised some testing with old cars in Fiorano.

"I think each single mile he did in our race cars is important for him to integrate into the team, to get used to our procedures.

"But I have to say that Carlos has progressed and is very well integrated.

"I think his feedback of the car to the engineers have been good. I think that his speed on track as well has proved to be good and developing, day after day.

"It will take still some more time. We are not expecting him to be fully integrated 100% at the start to the season, but again, each single day will be important.

"I believe he will be ready for the start of the season, if not 100%, very close.

"Because at the end he is not a rookie. He is a professional driver, he's got some F1 seasons on his back.

"I'm pretty sure that he will manage very well the situation and be ready."

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari F1 test, Fiorano 2021

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari F1 test, Fiorano 2021

Photo by: Federico Basile via Motorsport Images

Sainz joins a Ferrari team that is looking to bounce back from its worst season in 40 years in 2020 as it slipped to sixth place in the constructors' championship.

The Spaniard said that, while he naturally wanted to be fully ready for his Ferrari race debut at the end of the month, he knew from previous experience changing teams that the process would take time.

"My intention is obviously to be 100% ready for race one, but realistically speaking, in my experience, changing teams during all these years tells me that is very difficult to achieve," Sainz said.

"There's always experiences and feelings that you need to go through race by race, or race weekend by race weekend in free practices, in qualifying and in the races that you always end up learning during the races rather than testing.

"One-and-a-half days of testing per driver is not going to help for sure, but at the same time I'm going to try and count on my experience of changing teams lately and try to arrive to race one to my maximum level.

"My 100% level, which is the level that I considered I was showing in McLaren race in race out, when am I going to achieve that? It is very difficult to tell.

"My intention is as soon as possible and if it's from race one, then even better, but that depends also in the first feeling with a car."

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