Carlos Sainz will feel more pressure at Ferrari next year than his soon-to-be teammate Charles Leclerc.
Carlos Sainz believes that next year will be a tough year for him with the new historical team which is suffering in performance this year.
The Spaniard had a difficult start to his Formula 1 career. His first teammate was super-talented Max Verstappen, but he was still able to keep up reasonably well. However, he never got the chance to move to Red Bull Racing.
So Sainz was lent by Red Bull to the Renault factory team, where he spent just over a season. After the Renault stint, he broke ties with the Red Bull family and moved to McLaren for 2019, staying with the team for two seasons.
After 2020, the time has come. Sainz finally gets the chance to be part of a large team, even though the team is not performing at the level it would like. And with that team, Sainz will once again have to deal with a very strong teammate.
The question is whether Sainz will be able to keep up with his teammate Leclerc in 2021. Sainz is cut from the right racing wood and will certainly do his best to make things difficult for the Monegasque, but Leclerc is an exceptional talent and will probably be preferred by Ferrari itself. As Ferrari has often done in previous years, the team seems to opt for a clear leader and a number two driver. We have seen this before with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and also with the combination of Fernando Alonso with Felipe Massa.
However, this time it will not be quite the same as those previous years. For example, where Raikkonen was satisfied with being second driver, Sainz will probably not be. Leclerc will likely be the better driver, but Sainz will seize every opportunity to beat his teammate with both hands.
Carlos Sainz has a challenge on his hands to hit the ground running when he starts the 2021 season with Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc, a graduate of the Ferrari Driver Academy, made the step up in 2019 after a single season with Sauber and instantly proved a match for Vettel, finishing ahead of the four-time World Champion in the Drivers’ standings on his first attempt.
2020 was a far more frustrating season for Ferrari who finished P6 in the Constructors’ Championship, their worst showing since 1980, but Leclerc’s performances were a major positive with the Monegasque driver scoring two podium finishes.
So, already Sainz was facing a challenge, but the fact that pre-season testing has been cut to just three days for 2021 means the Spaniard will go into the season with very limited Ferrari experience.
So, for the opening rounds at least, Sainz expects a tough time from Leclerc.
“He’s a great talent. I think he’s driving at an incredible level right now,” said Sainz, as quoted by RaceFans.net.
“He’s performing, for me, one of the best on the grid right now. So it will be tough to match him, especially at the beginning, without any winter testing and anything.”
Sainz became one of the most popular personalities on the Formula 1 grid during his time with McLaren thanks to his bromance with then team-mate Lando Norris.
But while Sainz gets along well with Leclerc, he is expecting a more “professional” relationship between them both.
“I think we will get along well. I already have some contact and I do get on with Charles already, we’ve been talking already the last few months a bit,” he said.
“The relationship with him, I will try and keep it as professional as possible. And then if we obviously get on well outside the track, I’m happy with that.”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|