Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has given his verdict on Carlos Sainz’s opening half of the season with the Scuderia, and outlined what he is expecting from the Spaniard for the rest of the campaign.
Sainz joined Ferrari from McLaren following their decision to axe Sebastian Vettel, with the German ultimately joining Aston Martin.
The 26-year-old got off to a fast start at Ferrari, and he is currently ahead of his team-mate, Charles Leclerc, in the Drivers’ Standings.
In a recent interview, Binotto said he believes Ferrari currently have the strongest driver line-up in Formula 1:
“I am convinced that with Leclerc and Sainz we have the best duo in F1.
“They are talented, fast and young, a guarantee for the future. We know Charles, he grew up in our academy, we have no doubts about his abilities.
“Without the accidents in qualifying in Monte Carlo and at the start of Hungary, in which he was also unlucky, he would have an extra victory and second place.
“He is growing in the vision of racing and in tyre management. He has great potential.
“Carlos didn’t surprise me. Before taking him, we analysed his characteristics: he is concrete, he brings points to the team and he is clear in communicating with the engineers.
“He is integrating and understanding the machine better and better.
“In the second half of the season I expect him to put together a perfect weekend, without errors in qualifying, at the start or in the race,” Binotto added.
The Ferrari team principal also said that he believes Antonio Giovinazzi, the Scuderia’s reserve driver, deserves a contract extension from Alfa Romeo.
“Giovinazzi remains our reserve driver, the first alternative to the regular drivers,” he noted.
“He is showing growth every year and I hope he can stay at Alfa, he deserves it.”