Father ‘worried’ about Sainz’s future in F1

Tue, 9 April 2024, 10:00

Apr.9 (GMM) Carlos Sainz’s father admits he is worried about the departing Ferrari driver’s future in Formula 1.

So impressive is the Spaniard’s current wave of form that he is so far even humbling his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc – who will be paired with Sainz’s replacement next year and beyond, Lewis Hamilton.

“I think because he is leaving Ferrari, he has become more relaxed,” said former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov. “I think Carlos is very motivated to show the excellent speed he is showing in order to get the best offer for next year.”

For now, Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur is playing down the notion that he may have selected the wrong current Ferrari driver to pair with Hamilton.

“There are no conclusions to be drawn,” he said when asked about Leclerc’s current form by the Spanish newspaper AS.

“Charles is a fighter and you can’t be happy if your teammate is ahead, but he only finished a tenth from the second row (in qualifying), which is not a disaster. It’s not like he’s wrong by half a second,” Vasseur added.

As for Leclerc, he insists it’s not pressure or a lack of pace, but a struggle to get heat into his tyres for an ultimate qualifying lap.

“That’s kind of strange,” the Monegasque said, “because until now I’ve never had to focus on qualifying because that was one of our strengths.

“But it’s not the performance itself that’s wrong – it’s just warming up the tyres that has been giving me trouble lately.”

Sainz, 29, is linked with Red Bull, Mercedes, but also Audi-owned Sauber.

“People already know how available I am and how fast I am,” he is quoted as saying by Spanish newspapers.

“It’s a shame not to continue next year taking into account how good we are with Ferrari, with the mechanics and engineers. It makes me a little angry,” Sainz admits.

“On the other hand, it is true that it opens doors for me to go to another team to fight for the world championship, which we have been working on for three or four years at Ferrari.

“Now is the time to make important decisions – to know what options there are,” he added.

Sainz’s father and namesake has been at the grands prix so far this year to help sniff out the opportunities for 2025, but he was absent at Suzuka as he took part in the Trans-Iberian rally at the wheel of a Mini.

Whilst in Portugal for that event, 61-year-old Carlos Sainz said of his son: “He is very strong, yes, but at the moment we are still not clear about what is going to happen with his future.

“That is what worries me the most. At least Carlos is sending many very good messages and we hope they have an effect.”

As for whether Ferrari should have retained his son rather than Leclerc for the future, Sainz snr answered: “Logically it was not my decision and I do not think I am the right person to appropriately comment on that either.”

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