Carlos Sainz Day Ferrari – “It’s my first time in red, which as you can imagine is pretty special,” said Sainz.
Sainz plans to spend significant time at Maranello in January and February in preparation for his first season for the team, having found a similar process valuable when he moved to McLaren ahead of the 2019 season.
This visit was the first step in that process and should help him hit the ground running when he returns next month.
He also had lunch with Binotto and new team-mate Charles Leclerc during his trip.
Carlos Sainz spent his first day with Ferrari being given a tourist’s guide to the factory at Maranello, team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed.
After ending his two-year stint with McLaren, Sainz was unveiled in Ferrari red for the first time on Friday, with his initial duties including meetings with the engineers, a seat fit and lunch with both Binotto and new team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Describing wearing the colours as “pretty special”, Sainz added: “It is a special day for me in general, a day I will never forget.
“From my side, I am fully ready, fully motivated. I am totally refreshed for this new challenge. [There will be] Some Christmas, some holidays to disconnect and to make sure we recharge the batteries as quickly as possible.
“You can be sure I will be here pretty early in January to keep pushing, to keep helping this team to move forward as quickly as possible in the best direction.
“I cannot wait, to be honest. I have already had my first meetings, my first look around the factory and it is something I will never forget, and I cannot wait to do more next year.”
Binotto has revealed Sainz’s introductory programme was “very light”. “It was important for him to have a factory tour, as a tourist may do, at least knowing where Maranello is, where are the offices, the departments,” said the Italian.
“It will be important in January that he starts to know the locations and be capable of going around the factory. So his factory tour, I believe it is to have a deep dive into what are the Ferrari values, the Ferrari history.”
While there were no technical meetings, Binotto confirmed the initial introductions were “more about knowing the people, so meeting with the engineers to know the organisation, the technicians and engineers he will work with in the future”.
To assist Sainz with his integration into the team, and because there is just one three-day pre-season test in Barcelona on March 2-4, Binotto has revealed the Spaniard will have at least one day behind the wheel of a 2018 car at Fiorano in January.
“The January testing will be his first touch with a Ferrari car on track,” said Binotto. “It is an old car but we feel it is an important test to get used to our procedures, the way we communicate with engineers, to get the feeling with his engineers and the team itself, so that is what we will organise.”
Binotto has also confirmed next season’s car will be known as the SF21, which he recognises is “a very simple name”.
He said: “It’s because we believe next year is a transition to 2022, so let’s keep SF21 the name of the car. It will be certainly a partly frozen car, with some chassis from 2020, as that’s the way it is.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|