Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said that he is not surprised with Carlos Sainz’s pace as a driver and expects a more consistent second half of the season from the Spaniard.
Sainz has proven that he is quick in his Ferrari as he has already picked up podiums for the team in Monaco and Hungary. Binotto has reflected on Sainz’s performance in the first half of the season and shared that he expects more consistency from the driver after the summer break.
“What I’m expecting from him in the second half, I think he already said himself, he has not yet been capable to put together an entire weekend.
“There’s already a mistake here or there, in quali, at the start or in the race. So, I’m expecting that he will continue his learning, the team continues learning the car. And soon, hopefully, he will put together an entire weekend, which is important for him.”
Sainz has explained that he has struggled with finding his comfort in the car for the first half of the season, especially in acclimatizing to the SF21’s braking. However, this does not seem to have caused a problem for him as he often finds himself from two to three tenths away from Charles Leclerc.
Binotto has revealed that they were aware of Sainz’s pace and abilities as a driver before offering him a seat at the team. He has also stressed that he expected Sainz to adjust to the car quickly. He drew comparisons to Sainz’s performance at Toro Rosso and McLaren to reiterate his point.
“I’m not surprised because when we decided to prepare to make him an offer, we made a lot of analysis, and we knew that he 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 Toro Rosso, his teammate was Max [Verstappen]. And that very first year, he was doing well. And if we look as well at the last year, with Lando [Norris], I think again he was doing very well. And we know how Lando is strong and he has shown that as well in the current season.
“So we are not surprised by how strong he is or how fast he is, I’m happy, there’s no doubt. I’m happy to see he’s doing well because that shows we made the right choice. I’m happy to see the ways that he is integrating with the team, the way that he’s being with Charles.
“I’m happy, in terms of leadership, the type of leadership he is showing, not only on track but out of the cockpit when he is back at Maranello.”