Ferrari has signed Carlos Sainz to take over Sebastian Vettel’s seat and drive alongside Charles Leclerc for the 2021 season. Safe to say, tea, boss Mattia Binotto is expecting quite a lot from him. The Italian has high hopes that the Spaniard could help turn around Ferrari’s fortunes from the horrific 2020 season.
The Maranello team endured a very painful 2020, which saw them finish sixth in the Constructors Championship. They failed to win a single race the entire season.
The highest position a Ferrari car finished in a race was second, with Charles Leclerc‘s second-place finish in the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The two Ferraris finished in the podium places a combined three times the entire season; Leclerc grabbed two of those podiums. This was unacceptable for a team of Ferrari’s historic stature.
Thus, Binotto expects their new recruit to bring forward his momentum from the past season and take the team back to the front of the grid, if not race wins.
Binotto, in an interview, said, “Hopefully we’ll see him on the podium, I really hope to see him on the podium.” (translated via Google Translate)
However, he knows that there are a lot of factors that will affect Sainz’s performance.
“I think it’s not all up to him, but the car. If the car is good enough, I think it’s capable of doing solid races and that it will be in the podium.”
Binotto, on Sainz staying beyond 2022, said, “Again, we have bet on a very young driver. He is the youngest (Ferrari) formation since 1968.”
“Normally, we are betting on each election not only for two years and it is because we are trying to create solid foundations for the future and also looking at the long term.
“So we hope that Carlos will renew and be with us also in the next few years. “
Ferrari were greatly encouraged by the performances of Sainz and Leclerc during their private testing at Maranello last week.
They will be hoping that their new car, SF21, is much better than the previous iteration, and the engine problems that plagued them last season have been resolved.
So, the only question remains – will Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, seated in the 2021 car, take the team back to their glory days?