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Carlos Sainz Unjustly Underrated F1 Prodigy

Carlos Sainz: Unjustly Underrated F1 Prodigy?

26/03/2024

Carlos Sainz’s skill often goes unrecognized, especially when compared to his peers at Ferrari. Why is this talent underappreciated?

Within Ferrari, the Spaniard doesn’t hold the same esteem as Charles Leclerc since it’s Carlos Sainz who will be packing his bags next year to make way for Lewis Hamilton – not the Monegasque.

Yet, in Melbourne, as in Singapore last year (where Carlos Sainz also clinched victory), Charles Leclerc was clearly outpaced by his teammate.

This puts Charles Leclerc in an awkward position: does he not feel that Ferrari has made a far from obvious choice by showing the door to Carlos Sainz?

“Everyone in the paddock knows Carlos’s worth. He’s one of the most highly regarded drivers out there. And he has been extremely strong every time he’s been in a Formula 1 car. He has proven that on numerous occasions.”

“So, I don’t think he’s underrated. Everyone knows Carlos’s value. And that’s why I’ve repeatedly said I’m not too worried about his future because I’m sure many, many team principals… Carlos won’t say it, but it’s certain that principals are talking to him! And I’m convinced he’ll have plenty of opportunities – and he’ll just need to make the best choice for his career.”

Carlos Sainz’s former teammate at McLaren F1, Lando Norris, also saw a victory slip away (in Monza) in favor of the Spaniard.

Does he too believe that Sainz is far more formidable than the general opinion suggests?

“Charles put it well, to be honest. There’s no reason to think that Carlos is underrated. For people who know him, who know what he’s capable of, who understand his level of effort, his approach, and his commitment to wanting to be one of the best, just as he proved in Melbourne, and over the last two weeks… no, he’s not underrated.”

“I’m sure there are many drivers who probably wouldn’t have put in as much effort and wouldn’t have dedicated as much time to try and recover and get back in the racing car (after the surgery).”

“For those who know what he’s capable of, he will never be said to be underrated. And yes, of course, the results are always a bit hard to show – and people from the outside easily judge things based on what they see on TV. But when you’ve worked with him, when you know what he’s capable of… when everything aligns for him, it aligns really, really well. And he has performances like this weekend. All year, he’s proven he’s a notch above what he might have been last year. Yes, you’re foolish if you underestimate him.”

Sainz doesn’t care about being underrated by those unfamiliar with the sport…

Let’s now turn to Carlos Sainz himself.

Does the Spaniard feel a great sense of injustice after Melbourne? What more would he need to do to earn his place in one of the top teams?

“I don’t know what to say. I guess I agree with my two favorite teammates! Those are kind words, but I agree with them. I think people who know me or who have been on the same team as me know me – and so I don’t feel underrated by people who know this sport. Other people who might not have the same vision – and who might not know as much about this sport… if they want to underestimate me, that doesn’t bother me.”

“Honestly, I don’t care, but I’m interested in people who are well-acquainted with the sport and in my teammates, in people who have seen my data, my work ethic, my speed, and that’s what matters to me, and I don’t feel underrated by them.”

Carlos Sainz: Unjustly Underrated F1 Prodigy Carlos Sainz: Unjustly Underrated F1 Prodigy?

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