Carlos Sainz has made a solid impact since switching from McLaren to Ferrari for the 2021 season. Sainz has been vital in how he’s conveyed on-track information behind the scenes. He, however, lagged behind teammate Charles Leclerc over the course of the weekend. Jenson Button feels differently and believes that Sainz will eventually reach Leclerc’s level.
The Spaniard got his Ferrari stint off to a very good start by finishing in eighth in his debut race for the Italian team. While the eighth-place finish was a good start, Sainz would want to build on this and try to beat his teammate at tracks that are favorable to his driving style.
In an interview, 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button said he is very confident that Sainz will eventually find his feet at Ferrari comparing him to an engineer while doing so.
“I think Carlos will get closer to Leclerc very soon. I spoke to the McLaren engineers and they told me the Spanish driver is basically an engineer. He has a very intelligent approach and works closely with the team for many hours.”
Button feels the analytical approach of Sainz will stand him in good stead.
“That’s great, of course. Because he doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him when it comes to getting the most performance out of the SF21. He doesn’t go over the top when he drives and we saw that throughout the weekend in Bahrain. He’s a great guy and Ferrari can boast of having a great pair of drivers.”
Ferrari have been very brave in how they’ve opted to tackle the post-2020 season fallout. The Italian team have identified where they went wrong in 2020 and have taken steps to rectify it. They identified their driver lineup and power unit as areas they could improve upon.
In terms of the driver lineup, they opted to go younger by signing Sainz, thereby fielding the youngest driver lineup in their history. They grew weary of Vettel’s hapless attempts at trying to regain his lost confidence and pulled the trigger by getting Sainz in.
They also identified the pitfalls in their 2020 power unit, which at times saw both cars get eliminated in the first Qualifying session at many races. The Italian team have looked to restore their lost power in the engine. They have also openly revealed that they have spent their development tokens on the rear of the car.
The team is hoping the combination of reliable drivers and a reliable engine helps them finish third in the Constructors race as the ‘best of the rest’. If that happens, they will want to build on this to fuel their 2022 title challenge.