Spanish driver Carlos Sainz has had an impressive start to his career as a Ferrari driver, having joined the team from McLaren at the start of the 2021 season. Sainz currently leads highly rated teammate Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings by 3 points, beating him in five of the eleven races we’ve had thus far. Despite this, the 26-year-old believes there is more to come as he is yet to put together a full weekend without any errors, a sentiment backed up by team principal Binotto.
"What I'm expecting from him in the second half, I think he already said himself," Binotto told Autosport.com.
"Whether it is qualy, start, or in the race. So I'm expecting that he will continue learning the team, continue learning the car.
"And soon, hopefully, he will put together an entire weekend, which I think is important for him."
Sainz came into the 2021 season underrated by many despite his strong performances during his stint with Mclaren, including two shock podiums coming in Brazil in 2019 and Italy in 2020 respectively. When questioned about Sainz’s pace, Binotto insisted the team are not surprised, citing his strong performance against his former teammates Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: LECLERC v SAINZ— Formula 1 (@F1) August 5, 2021
With the summer break now here, time to compare the form of @Charles_Leclerc and @Carlossainz55 over the first half of the season 👀⚔️#F1 @ScuderiaFerrari pic.twitter.com/gLZHJxJQj4
"I'm not surprised because when we decided, and contacted him with the offer, we made a lot of analysis and we knew that was a strong driver, we knew that he was a strong racer, we knew that he was very consistent in the race,
"And he was fast as well, he has proved to be fast, since he was in F1. We should not forget that his very first F1 season with STR his teammate was Max [Verstappen], and his very first year he was somehow doing well.
"And if we look as well at last year with Lando [Norris], again, he was doing very well and we know how Lando is strong and he is showing it as well in the current season so we are not surprised by how strong he is or how fast he is."
Ferrari currently sit third in the constructors’ championship, level on points with Mclaren, a marked improvement on the teams 2020 performance. Binotto insists, however, that the teams main goal is to continue their upward trajectory.
"It's not really arriving third, the objective is trying to improve furthermore in all the areas. And to do that, I think if we are capable of [continuously] improving, I think that the outcome will be arriving third.” he told Autosport.
"I think that being third is certainly a possible objective. We are third at the moment, equal on points but we are third, but the team is doing well and we are improving.
"I think, as I said, I think we've got the best line-up, and there is still a lot of potential to come from them, they are progressing, they are learning.
"And again I think they are doing well but more important is to make sure that they are continually progressing in the second half, and being ready for 2022."