‘But I won’t say a word’: Carlos Sainz dismisses Ferrari question

Former Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur was signed to replace Mattia Binotto as Ferrari team principal, following the Italian's departure.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has been enjoying some downtime since the conclusion of the 2022 Formula 1 season, after having been in Saudi Arabia supporting his father in the Dakar Rally.

Sainz’s father, rally legend Carlos Sainz Sr, was actually involved in a horrific crash which saw the Spaniard flip over, resulting in two broken vertebrae.

The Ferrari driver will be hoping not to be involved in a crash as big as his father’s this season, with the 28-year-old being in need of a strong year.

2023 is Sainz’s third season as a Ferrari driver, meaning he’s very much reaching a time when results will be expected, especially given that the Maranello-based team are under new leadership.

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The relaxed approach of Mattia Binotto is no more, with Frederic Vasseur having taken the Italian’s place.

The former Alfa Romeo boss won’t take poor results lightly, with Sainz certainly needing to get closer to team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz did, of course, finish above Leclerc in 2021 when Ferrari’s car wasn’t a race winner; however, he languished behind the 25-year-old for the bulk of 2022, when the team did have a frontrunning challenger.

In regard to the new boss and new car, Sainz has revealed that he’s not only spoken to Vasseur but that he’s also been “following” the development of the 2023 car, with the Spaniard not set to “say a word” until it hits the track.

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“Of course I have spoken with Fred,” the Spaniard told Sky Italia.

“And yes, I’ve been following progress with the new car for several months.

“But I won’t say a word about the car until I see the others on the track.”

Given that Vasseur won’t likely settle for complacency in the same way that Binotto did, it’ll be fascinating to see how Sainz approaches the new season, with the Frenchman likely to push the team to achieve their first title since 2008.

Former driver Rene Arnoux seemingly believes Vasseur will be a success at Ferrari, after labelling Binotto as “unbearable”.

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“The way he acted was unbearable,” the Frenchman told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I said it several times – I would have split with Binotto much earlier. And I hope Maranello will finally move away from uniting the technical and team boss roles in one person.

“In order to be successful, you don’t have to know how an engine or a gearbox works.”