F1 | Sainz : "For me, Checo's exit is a shame"
Carlos Sainz expressed his feelings about the late replacement of Sergio Perez by Sebastian Vettel at Racing Point, saying it made him a little angry
F1 paddocks are places full of contradictions, as an “angry” Sainz reflected on the demotion of Sergio Perez from Racing Point. After months of negotiations that had started during the 2019 winter, Carlos Sainz and Ferrari finally came to terms, with the Spaniard signing a two-years deal with the Prancing Horse team, in replacement of Sebastian Vettel. Prior to Sainz' announcement, Vettel and the Scuderia jointly announced their intention to go part ways, with the four-times world champion clarifying that : “there was never an offer on the table” from Ferrari. The German was left figuring out what his next move would be, as there were few competitive seats left on the market.
The new ownership of Racing Point has taken over since 2018, reviving a Force India team which was going through administration proceedings triggered by Perez. Lawrence Stroll, the then new owner launched an ambitious program which will culminate in 2021 with his team being rebranded Aston Martin. In light of Stroll’s strategy to become a top team, it is logical to see the benefits of hiring a driver of the caliber of Vettel, who will certainly bring to the team an undeniable commercial value, his speed, his experience, and a valuable knowledge in terms of car development. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of Sergio Perez.
The vacancy of Perez led Sainz to say: "What Checo shows is that in F1 not everything is your performance. Judging on purely performance, there is no reason why he should leave Racing Point or they don't want him.”
"But in F1, there are other interests, things that come with performance that are very important.”
"And for me, Checo's exit is a shame, because the team that he has trusted in for so many years, that he practically saved from bankruptcy and that they finally get producing a good car for him, is now the team that does not want to continue with him. It is a real shame."
"It makes me a little angry because I have a good relationship with him and I respect him a lot as a driver".
"It reminds you that this sport is like that, that it gives you very little return. But it is the one that we have chosen to compete and be professionals in, and you have to accept it.”
Contemplating the Mexican’s perspectives, Sainz added: "I hope he gets a seat that motivates him, that he likes, and that in 2022 it would be a good seat."
"Surely I have also had moments of uncertainty that are very political and have nothing to do with performance on the track. It is the area of the sport that is less sporty and that is beyond the control of the athlete. Nobody likes to be in that situation."
Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, who is replacing Sainz at McLaren next year, said he felt it was not too late for Perez to find a race seat for 2021.
"He's certainly worthy of a seat to say the least," he said. "As a competitor, I rate him, and as a person I get on with him.
"It's obviously fairly late, but it's not crazy late. I think he's still got time. What are we September? Yeah, he's still got time."
"Obviously, there's fewer seats available. But yeah, I hope for him that he finds a seat. He's still young."