Good sign Ferrari made most of the podium chances in F1
Sainz has joined Ferrari from McLaren for the 2021 season and currently leads teammate Charles Leclerc to the Drivers’ Championship in sixth, scoring three podiums and 112.5 points so far this season.
Sainz qualified second for the Russian Grand Prix last weekend and led the first part of the race before finishing third after timing the transition to intermediates well in a late downpour that cost the teams several places. pilots.
Although he has managed to score more points and podiums than Leclerc so far this season, Sainz has also suffered crashes in a few events, including qualifying at the Hungaroring and testing at Zandvoort and Monza.
Sainz said the crashes showed he still didn’t feel comfortable with Ferrari’s SF21 car, prompting him to focus his approach on building confidence throughout the weekend in Russia.
“I guess you’ve seen from the outside that I’m not 100% home with the car yet,” Sainz said.
“I don’t want to bring back the falls, but I’ve never fallen in my career. I’m a driver who never puts it in the wall, but for some reason there have been a few crashes that show that I still don’t 100% understand the car.
“[In Sochi] I also made a conscious effort to progress step by step, through free practice, to qualifying, and to be really fast when I need to be fast instead of being fast right away in FP1.
“It worked out well, it gave me good confidence, and I was quick all weekend and felt at home.”
Sainz has always said he would view 2021 as a year to move to Ferrari ahead of his second campaign at Maranello next season.
But he was happy that Ferrari seized the podium opportunities when they showed up, having finished second in Monaco and third in Hungary.
“We took advantage of our opportunities to score these three podiums,” said Sainz.
“We’re just maximizing the opportunities we get. It’s a good signal, a signal that the team, under pressure and in good times, is performing.
“We get the results whenever the chance presents itself.”