McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr feels sympathetic towards Formula One hopeful, Mick Schumacher. This is because he knows what it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a successful parent.

Carlos Sainz Jr is the son of rally legend and Dakar Rally winner, Carlos Sainz Sr. So, he would often grow up hearing about his father’s successes behind the wheel. Now, Carlos Sainz Jr is in Formula One, racing for the McLaren team.

Now, Mick Schumacher, could be under similar pressure as he is the son of 7-time World Champion, Michael Schumacher. As a result of the familial association, there is more pressure on him, and Carlos Sainz Jr understands it all too well.

Carlos Sainz Jr said, “Especially when I was a kid, when I was go-karting, I felt that a lot of people were looking at me and at my results and the way I was going. A lot of kids and racing drivers were focusing a bit on me because being the son of [Sainz],”

“But it’s something that I got used to, although at the time it was tough. Then I just tried to take the positives from it and having a double world champion as a father I think it only made me a better driver today.”

Carlos Sainz Jr continued, “I think [Mick] is getting a lot of attention these last few weeks because of the F1 test and that’s why I feel for him. But sometimes media attention is also not bad. I think he’s in a good place right now.”

Carlos Sainz Jr
Carlos Sainz Jr

There have been a number of examples of drivers facing pressure owing to a more well-known relative. Sometimes, in the case of Nico Rosberg and Damon Hill, they emulate their father’s success.

In other cases, like Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost, Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti, Nelson Piquet Jr. and many more, they fail to live up to expectations. And in yet more cases, like Max Verstappen, they achieve far more than their fathers have.

Carlos Sainz Jr, continued, “Kids are sometimes a bit mean and you want to beat that guy, ‘I want to beat the son of Carlos Sainz more than any other maybe because his father is watching or because more people are watching,’”

Carlos Sainz Jr spoke about how he changed himself as a driver and forced himself to be more hungry for success.

“So when I was a kid that was definitely a thing I didn’t like. My dad told me ‘you either bite or you get beaten’. When he told me that, I realised I had to start biting a bit more, or I will get beaten too often.”

“Suddenly I started being a bit more aggressive and started earning a bit more respect. I didn’t realise but I was being a bit too nice, too friendly with everyone in wanting to get everyone’s approval and then I started being a bit more aggressive and it was better, definitely.”

Carlos Sainz Jr has not had the best of starts to his McLaren career