Thursday was the first day of Carlos Sainz Jr. in a red car. The Spaniard got to test at the Fiorano circuit, the SF71H — the 2018 iteration of the Scuderia Ferrari car.
As the day of testing ended with him completing 150 laps, Sainz reflected on how he felt in his new position as a Ferrari driver, and overall, what it meant to be part of a team with such a rich history and legacy in the sport. While remembering fondly his first memories in a Ferrari garage with one of his heroes — Michael Schumacher— , he asserted:
“The atmosphere there was simply special, there is nothing like it. Therefore, I guess the easiest way to describe what joining Scuderia Ferrari means to me is a childhood dream come true!”
“Every single racing driver and fan knows what Scuderia Ferrari represents and even if you are not into motor sports or even if you don’t like cars at all, you still recognise the brand and associate the colour red with Ferrari. That’s how big it is.” He added.
Although admitting what a dream it is to drive for the Scuderia, he nonetheless acknowledged the responsibility coming along with it.
“The way I see it, to put on the red race suit and drive for this team is much more than just a dream. As a racing driver, it’s a great honour and a big responsibility that I really look forward to experiencing and embracing.”
When asked about his ambition with Ferrari, the Madrid-born star didn’t shy away and firmly set his goal as to win the World Championship.
“Since the very first day I started racing I only had two targets in mind: to become a Formula 1 Grand Prix driver and to win the World Championship. After achieving the first one, all my focus and efforts are invested in trying to achieve the second target and there is no better place than Ferrari to go for it.”
More so, after a difficult 2020 season that saw the Scuderia ranking 6th in the constructors’ standing, Sainz vowed to participate in getting the Maranello team back to its former glorious days.
“The ambition is to help create a winning team, bring the Scuderia back to the very top where it belongs and win the World Championship.”
For Sainz, it’s the lot of every single Formula 1 team to go through difficult moments at some point. But what really matters is the ability to bounce back, and be competitive once again. He insisted :
“I have full confidence in the project and, even though the process might take some time, I’m sure the team will eventually return to its winning ways.”
“What you can be sure of is that I will give my absolute best to help shorten that process as much as possible.”
Considering being — with Charles Leclerc — the youngest driver line-up in the history of the Scuderia, the 26-year old highlighted the importance of the experience he and his teammate are bringing to the team, despite their relative young age.
“I don’t think age on its own is such an important factor. If anything, experience in this sport is more valuable than age.”
“I’m only 26 years old but I’ve already done six seasons in Formula 1 and have driven for three different teams before joining Ferrari. Charles is 23 years old but he is about to start his fourth season in Formula 1 and his third year with the team, so he knows the car and his way around Maranello perfectly.”
“My point is that, despite being the youngest pair of drivers at the Scuderia in many years, we are not rookies anymore and we understand the importance and responsibility of driving for Ferrari.”
Ultimately, he emphasized once again, if needed, on his undivided commitment to the prancing horse.
“As I said before, I really look forward to that responsibility in a good and positive way and I’m sure that, together with Charles, we are going to bring motivation, passion and hunger to the team.”
“I will drive my heart out in every single race and work hard away from the track to help the team improve faster.”