Steering Wheel ‘Very Different’ From McLaren: Sainz Explains Importance of Testing Older Ferrari

Published 01/28/2021, 2:17 AM EST
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO : Carlos Sainz of Spain and McLaren F1 walks to the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Ever since their downfall, Ferrari have been finding ways to get back up to speed before the 2021 season arrives. Thus, in an attempt to provide the drivers with some exposure, the team hosted private testing for the two F1 drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

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However, the team had to comply with the FIA’s rules and were restricted to running their 2018 F1 car. So, one might wonder, if driving a 2-year-old car is even going to help a driver?

Well, turns out it did.

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Sainz apparently had a useful session with the team in Fiorano. According to the Spaniard, there are some significant differences between driving a Ferrari and driving a McLaren.

Sainz’s view on the recent Ferrari testing

Speaking to Sky Sport, Carlos Sainz opined that Ferrari had an entirely different steering wheel set up compared to that of his former team, McLaren.

Even if it may not be 100%, driving a 2018 car is still very useful,” he said. “For example, the steering wheel is very different from that of McLaren and it was also important to talk to all the engineers, the mechanics, to learn their names.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Now that Sainz has tasted a Ferrari-designed F1 car, he can prep himself for testing the highly anticipated 2021 car, SF21.

The upcoming season could be a crucial one for Ferrari. The team have already made it clear that their focus is entirely on the 2022 season. Hence, the Maranello-based outfit will be entering the season on the back foot even though they will sport a newly designed engine.

Consequently, Ferrari will be relying on their drivers’ talent to avoid yet another painful season.

Will Sainz play a helping hand in saving Ferrari from further disappointments?

Managed to complete the whole program: Sainz

The newly recruited Ferrari driver revealed that he managed to reach the goals set by the team for the testing.

We have covered over 100 laps, we have managed to complete the whole program,” he said. “We will still have to do a lot of work in Bahrain. But in the meantime, this is a good start.”

Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)

Formula 1 will commence the winter testing on March 12 at the Bahrain International Circuit. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the teams will have just three days to test their cars around the desert.

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Hence, it is likely that most of the teams will go into the season with partial blank heads.

Will Ferrari, too, join the party? Or will they manage to complete their programmes as per plan?

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Rohit Kumar

909 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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