Sainz: Too early to judge how strong Ferrari will be in F1 2021

Carlos Sainz Jr says it is "way too early" to judge how strong Ferrari will be once he joins in 2021 despite its poor start to the Formula 1 season

Sainz: Too early to judge how strong Ferrari will be in F1 2021

Current McLaren driver Sainz agreed a deal back in May to join Ferrari for the 2021 season, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The move looked like a step towards the front of the grid for Sainz, only for Ferrari to make a difficult start to the 2020 season.

Vettel and Sainz's future team-mate, Charles Leclerc, both failed to outqualify either McLaren last weekend in Austria, and have been losing around one second per lap to the front-running Mercedes cars.

The Ferrari SF1000 will be raced again next year as part of a cost-saving drive by F1, with only limited development allowed on the car and the engine.

PLUS: The honest but damning verdict on Ferrari's 2020 form

Asked what he made of Ferrari's poor start to the season, Sainz said he did not think it was the right time to dwell on its struggles or suggest any regret over his decision to join the team for 2021.

"Many people are asking me this question, if I am extremely worried or regretting my decision or anything," Sainz said.

"I feel like it is not a real question to be answered right now. I think it is way too early in the season.

"We all need to be a bit patient. I think you've clearly seen how much a car can change from one year to another - how much Racing Point can change from last year to this year, how much Ferrari can change from last year to this year.

"The good thing about Formula 1 is that this never stops, and that I'm not worried about it happening now because in a year [it can change].

"In 365 days, everything could change. That's why I'm focusing on the present on my time at McLaren.

"I said it 100 times in interviews that my main goal this year is to do as best I can for McLaren and not focus on what is going on in Ferrari.

"Then as soon as this season is over, I will have time to go into Ferrari and focus on that and see how we can make next season better than this one."

Sainz has spoken previously about the importance of stability in his future, having flourished with McLaren last year after signing his first multi-year agreement in F1.

Asked by Autosport about the importance of certainty about his future given the ongoing driver market drama, Sainz said it allowed him to stay focused on delivering in the present.

"I've been quite vocal in the past, when I said that my first two-year contract with McLaren gave me that extra confidence that I was lacking in previous teams and in previous situations," Sainz said.

"[It's] some certain margin of security that you're going to be in the team for another year. [It] always helps a driver to just stop focusing on different matters, and keeping your mind on the present.

"I'm happy with how my future is looking and where I'm going. I'm happy where I am right now, and it takes my mind out of other situations."

shares
comments
Bottas: Mercedes F1 contract talks "moving in the right direction"
Previous article

Bottas: Mercedes F1 contract talks "moving in the right direction"

Next article

Albon: No need to panic after one difficult F1 race

Albon: No need to panic after one difficult F1 race
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022