‘Extremely tough’: Carlos Sainz opens up on his charity work with children

Carlos Sainz is involved with a Spanish charity which gives games consoles and tablets to children diagnosed with cancer.

Carlos Sainz has faced a challenging season with Ferrari, with the Spaniard somewhat underperforming compared to team-mate Charles Leclerc.

The Spanish driver has recently come under some criticism from Ferrari chairman John Elkann, who hailed Leclerc as the Maranello-based team’s number one driver, despite team principal Mattia Binotto insisting that the team regard both drivers as equals.

The 28-year-old is contracted with the Scuderia until the end of 2024, having signed a new contract earlier in the season.

However, for Sainz, there are more important things than being a racing driver.

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The Spaniard has been a keen charity worker for a number of years, with one charity in particular being very close to his heart.

For the last seven years, Sainz has worked with a children’s foundation called Juegaterapia, which supplies children with cancer, electronic tablets, and games consoles.

Sainz became aware of the charity when sponsored by PlayStation earlier in his career, and he’s continued to play his part ever since.

The Ferrari driver recently opened up on how “extremely tough” it is to see what the “kids go through”, in what was a highly emotional interview.

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“What these kids go through is extremely tough for me to digest and to accept, and extremely tough to understand how life can be so mean in some regards,” said Sainz in an interview for The New York Times.

“Since I met the guys in Juegaterapia, we have found ways to try and make the time where a kid who is going through cancer – and it doesn’t matter if it’s terminal or not terminal – is as fun and as light as possible.

“It may never make it good but at least you try and improve it, make it better, to pass the time better.

“It’s something I feel attached to. Obviously, I would like to help in more things in life, not only if I could give in Africa, but if I could do other stuff in other countries, I would.

“But what I feel is closer to me, what I feel where I can help is making the lives of kids that are going through a tough time in Madrid, or places close to me, a bit better.

“This is what I’m trying to do, and I find it very fulfilling. There are very few things that make me feel so in touch with a kid.”

Sainz had wanted to work with the foundation for a very long time, after a child very close to his family was diagnosed with cancer, leaving the Spaniard wanting to “find ways” to help incredibly ill children.

“It was close to my family,” added Sainz.

“I said ‘Okay, after personally going through this, I need to find ways to help these kinds of associations even more’.

“And it grounds you completely. You suddenly realise how unimportant a qualifying lap you did back in 2017 was that pissed you off so much.

“You realise how insignificant that is compared to all the other problems that people may have in life and I’ve seen them very close to me and it’s tough, it’s very tough.

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“It does ground you. It brings you back out of the bubble in which we live and you see a bit of life with a lot more perspective.

“For every guy that has the frenetic life that we have, it’s key to step away a bit and say ‘Okay, it’s time to stop travelling a bit and see what can happen to you in life’.

“At any point, you need to go back to your life, enjoy it and live it to the maximum.”