Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz would dearly love to win the Spanish Grand Prix in front of his adoring home crowd as he goes in search of his first-ever grand prix victory.
The Spaniard has taken part in 146 grand prix weekends without winning a race, putting him seventh in the all-time list of drivers to hold that unwanted distinction.
The 27-year-old grew up idolising compatriot Fernando Alonso, and he watched the double world champion take three wins in Spain with a combination of Renault and Ferrari, and the emotions emanating from Alonso after his victory in Valencia in 2012 summed up just how much it means for a driver to win on home soil.
Sainz is aware of the fans’ desire for a Spaniard to win in Barcelona for the first time since Alonso’s success in 2013, but he affirms that no one wants it more than he does.
“It would be unique, because it would be the first and it would be at home, for that I work every day and try to get it as soon as possible. The fans will want it, but the one who wants the most is me,” he said, quoted by AS.
The 27-year-old is grateful for the support he receives every time he travels back to Spain for his home race, and recalls the excitement he felt when he went to watch Alonso, who now drives for Alpine, compete for victories.
“That they support me as much as they can, because every little thing they do is noticeable from the car. At home I have always done my best races, I always scored points when I had a car to do it,” he explained.
“And this year, when there is a car for the podium, we will try win. I remember going to the Spanish GP in 2005 and 2006, with the grandstands full when Fernando was winning races.
“In 2010 and 2013 it was packed again, but we haven’t seen it like that since. The drivers parade is one of the best moments of the grand prix.”
Alonso might easily have found himself in the top 10 in the Drivers’ Championship had it not been for a series of calamities that have cost him points, pole and a podium, but his two points in Bahrain remain the only ones he has registered in 2022.
The 40-year-old will be hoping that his return to Spain can be the catalyst for an end to his misfortune, and the start of some rewards for his fine performances thus far.
Sainz, meanwhile, has stood on the podium three times in the first five rounds, failing to finish the other two after troubled weekends in Australia and Imola.
However, his performance in Miami was a return to form at an ideal time as Red Bull begin to ramp up their title challenge.