May 2 (GMM) Carlos Sainz has hit back at the notion that he is struggling with the pressure of driving a competitive Ferrari.
The Spaniard has had a difficult time so far in 2022 both keeping up with championship leader and teammate Charles Leclerc and not making mistakes.
“I think it’s a matter of managing the pressure,” team boss Mattia Binotto said at Imola.
“It’s maybe the first time in his career that he’s got a car which is fast enough to compete for the best positions, and he simply needs to get used to that.”
However, 27-year-old Sainz denied that his recent mistakes were anything to do with struggling with pressure.
“In Imola I did a good lap in Q3 so I was just trying things – different lines and a different balance,” he insists.
“If someone asks me if I felt the pressure then, the answer is no. I played around with the car and made a mistake.”
Actually, Sainz says his issue so far in 2022 is more fundamental.
“Unfortunately, the new cars don’t suit my driving style,” he admits. “I’m really struggling to cope with that and I’m having to adapt a lot. It’s no secret that mistakes like this happen for a reason.
“I haven’t reached 100 percent yet and I’m still trying to get used to the new car.”
Even Binotto admits that any pressure-related issues are no big deal for Sainz.
“I don’t think there’s a problem there,” said the Italian. “He’s improving and driving faster and faster.”