“He’s Up Against a Driver…” F1 Champion Hails Carlos Sainz’s Heroics Despite Not Being Ferrari’s ‘Chosen Kid’

Published 11/20/2022, 9:55 AM EST

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Being Carlos Sainz in F1 is quite difficult. A Red Bull young driver switched to Renault and then to McLaren, proving his pedigree to receive a call from Scuderia Ferrari. Although in 2022, Sainz struggled against Ferrari prodigy Charles Leclerc. However, former world champion Damon Hill thinks Sainz can be proud of how he has performed against Leclerc this season.

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The 1996 F1 champion thinks that Ferrari has their chosen driver in Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque right now has the longest contract in the history of the Scuderia Ferrari. That’s evidence of how much Ferrari trusts Leclerc. Many in the paddock tout Leclerc as the next Ferrari World champion.

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And when you are in Carlos Sainz’s position up against Ferrari‘s ‘number 1’ driver, it certainly puts you in a tough spot. Sainz can only come under the spotlight when he beats Leclerc.

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In 2022, Carlos has struggled with the new generation of ground-effect cars and has not been matching Leclerc quite consistently. Although Damon Hill said on Sainz’s 2022 performance, “I think Carlos can be really proud of what he’s done this year. He’s up against a driver with a favorite. Charles is their chosen kid.”

Now Hill has spoken a fact, as the Maranello team prioritizes Leclerc on his talent and pace. Nonetheless, Sainz had a great debut season with Ferrari in 2021. He beat Leclerc in the championship and got 4 podium finishes relative to Leclerc’s one.

“I Could Have Become a Second Driver but…”: Carlos Sainz Admits the Only Reason He Didn’t Settle for Ferrari Wingman Role

While Sainz has mentioned how he needs to get on terms with Leclerc’s pace and performance on the track in 2022, with the season closing out, the Spaniard needs to bounce back in 2023 to get back into title contention.

How has Carlos Sainz fared in the 2022 season?

At the start of the 2022 season, Carlos Sainz was searching for the first F1 win of his career. And he was given the car to get that win too by Ferrari. Although Sainz had multiple podiums in the initial races, he also suffered major DNF results in Australia, Imola, and Azerbaijan.

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Sainz has arguably not been able to adapt well to the new regulation changes and his inconsistent performance reflects that. He was chasing Max Verstappen at Montreal to get his first F1 victory. Although some astute defense from the Dutchman kept Carlos in P2 again.

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Eventually, the high point came for Sainz when he took pole position at Silverstone and won the race as well. Even though the British GP win has been the highlight of his 2022 season, the low points of DNF results due to errors and struggling points finishes show the inconsistent graph of his performance.

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Watch This Story: Leclerc reveals the biggest perk of being teammates with Carlos Sainz

Sainz has been out of the championship contention in 2022. To be fair to him, even his teammate Leclerc’s championship challenge did not last long in 2022. What do you think? Will we see both Leclerc and Sainz fighting for the 2023 title?

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Written by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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