Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
09 May
Next event in
68 days
23 May
Race in
86 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
100 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
121 days
04 Jul
Next event in
124 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
156 days
29 Aug
Race in
184 days
05 Sep
Race in
191 days
12 Sep
Race in
198 days
26 Sep
Race in
212 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
215 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
289 days

Sainz recalls first Ferrari contact: "I tried not to believe it"

Carlos Sainz entered initial talks with Ferrari over a 2021 Formula 1 deal “without trying to believe it too much”, assuming it was talking to a number of drivers.

shares
comments
Sainz recalls first Ferrari contact: "I tried not to believe it"

Ferrari announced last May it had struck a deal for Sainz to join the team on a two-year contract from 2021, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Sainz has been one of the stand-out performers in F1’s midfield over the past two seasons, scoring two podium finishes, as well as leading McLaren to third in the championship last year.

The Spaniard has quickly embedded himself at Ferrari, completing his first simulator run at its Maranello base on Friday afternoon.

Reflecting on when Ferrari first got in touch over a 2021 race seat in the months prior to a deal being agreed, Sainz said he tried not to believe it too much, thinking that the team would be talking to lots of drivers.

“The first time we got in contact, you can imagine, you go into it without trying to believe it too much,” Sainz told Motorsport.com.

“[You’re thinking] they must just be talking to all the drivers. So I tried to be very relaxed about it. I tried to keep my focus always on the present.

“But during the lockdown, there was nothing to do. There was not a lot to think about, so I started to get a bit more interested and a bit more keen.

“All of a sudden, everything started happening very quickly during that period of time.”

Read Also:

Sainz was named as Vettel’s replacement just 48 hours after the German’s departure from Ferrari was confirmed, all coming before the start of the delayed 2020 season.

Sainz felt braced for a wave of questions and scrutiny when the new season did begin following the Ferrari announcement, but praised how the McLaren team handled the situation to avoid any pressure building.

“When you sign for Ferrari, you know what’s coming, all the media attention,” Sainz said.

“It was in the middle of lockdown, and I knew that going into Austria, a lot of questions were going to be asked.

“It’s a period of time that you know you’re going to get a lot of media attention, especially in Spain. I don’t think many people in Spain expected Carlos Sainz to be part of Ferrari maybe one or two years ago. So it got quite big at the time.

“But it very quickly went away. We managed together with McLaren to make sure there were not a lot of stories developing, just focusing on the present.

“We didn’t want the stories being generated and we wanted to focus on a very important year that we had. I think it worked really well.

“The relationship with McLaren has always been very open and very relaxed. So never really got to feel a lot of pressure, a lot of weight on my shoulders.”

Related video

Bottas: I won't play Rosberg's F1 mind games on Hamilton

Previous article

Bottas: I won't play Rosberg's F1 mind games on Hamilton

Next article

Revealed: What Ferrari is changing on its engine for F1 2021

Revealed: What Ferrari is changing on its engine for F1 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021
How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules Prime

How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules

AlphaTauri launched its AT02, complete with a new livery, as it bids to home in on an already-tight midfield battle. Although there were few outright new parts displayed on the launch render, there might be a few clues into further changes down the line…

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021