When Carlos Sainz Jr. signed for Ferrari for the 2021 season, People were quick to brand him as the team’s ‘number 2’ driver. The primary reason for doing so was that Charles Leclerc was so good that he displaced a 4-time world champion as the team’s first choice by the end of last season. Leclerc’s excellent performances saw Ferrari give him a record 5-year contract. That meant whoever was going to replace Vettel would have to be ‘number 2’ right?
Well, not quite. Not according to Carlos Sainz, at least.
Carlos Sainz states that he is not the second driver
Carlos Sainz was interviewed by Radio Marca. He said, “I have not signed anything that says I’m the second pilot. In my contract, it says, as in all those I have signed, that the team is above the pilot, but does not put anything about second place or supporting anyone.”
Additionally, he said, “What I know is that I will give everything for Ferrari and I will give everything they need, especially to try to win. I do not care about the color of the car. I treat all drivers equally. We are all rivals and we must go for all. If there is a complicated situation, I would make the right decision, don’t worry.”
However, he knows he still has a job to do at McLaren. he said, “I think they are going to tell me everything because I can still help them a lot in the remainder of the year and for next year. I have asked them to keep me informed because I am the first one who wants to see McLaren on the podium as soon as possible and I think I can help them as I have helped in the last year.”
He ends by saying, “Also, since I think we are ending the relationship in a good way, I think we would both benefit from telling each other and developing the car together.”
As the 2020 F1 season is set to kick-off in Austria on the 5th of July, Carlos will be looking to start where he left off last season. While Mclaren will be hoping to give the Spaniard a car that is good enough to race for a podium.