Now, following recent revelations, it has become clear that Carlos Sainz found suggestions he might regret joining Ferrari in 2021 “a bit annoying”.
Carlos Sainz hasn’t timed his move to Ferrari to perfection given its struggles are set to continue into next season with what is largely a carry-over car. Whatever happens, it’s not going to be an easy transition and the scale of the challenge he faces in moving into Charles Leclerc’s territory.
The 26-year-old will face a level of scrutiny, criticism and judgement from followers of Ferrari that dwarfs what he’s been through so far in his F1 career.
That’s not only the conventional media, but the 24/7 barrage of social media where a driver is only one wrong word, even under pressure, away from becoming the latest storm in a Twitter teacup.
It’s enough to break some drivers and even the strong ones have, at times, appeared to bow under the pressure of expectation at Ferrari. Even a bad car is not considered a good enough justification for bad results, with what is perceived as failure leaving any driver – especially a newcomer – teetering on the edge of oblivion.
But the erudite Sainz is intelligent enough to understand what he faces and intends to turn what he will face to his advantage.
Saying that Ferrari is a downgrade is a bit controversial but based on their performances last season it is. However, there is a strong possibility of Ferrari bouncing back quickly and be back fighting at the front.
With the changes in regulations coming into effect next season, and minor changes being made for 2021, things may improve for the Italian team. This may mean they will be back fighting for podiums and this is where the team need to be.
Sainz is a very talented driver and deserves to be in a top team. I must admit when he was announced as a Ferrari driver I was a little concerned that isn’t the driver that Ferrari needs, but he did prove me wrong across the season.
I now think that Sainz is the perfect driver for Ferrari as I expect them to still be involved in a midfield battle. Sainz experience throughout his career will be very beneficial as we saw Sebastian Vettel, who Sainz replaces struggle in the midfield due to his time-fighting at the front.
While I don’t expect Sainz to immediately fight at the front, much to the limitations of the car, I do expect to see him pick up regular points which is something that will help Ferrari in their push back up the grid.
The bromance that Sainz had with Lando Norris at McLaren is one that the fans loved, and while it is sad to see that end, the friendship that will hopefully develop between Sainz and Charles Leclerc will be beneficial for all parties.
The difference between Sainz and Leclerc and Vettel and Leclerc is the experience the driver brings. Vettel was under pressure by Leclerc and with his four World titles adding to the pressure, he struggled and was beat by Leclerc in both their seasons together.
We won’t really know if Sainz’ decision to join Ferrari was the right one until a few rounds into the season, but given the time he accepted the contract, we didn’t know how bad Ferrari would be. Maybe he would have made a different decision now, but he will join the select list of Ferrari drivers, something that holds a lot of worth in itself.
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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|