‘They do not know F1’ – Sainz fires back at fans who do not rate him

Carlos Sainz finished fifth in the Drivers' Standings in an impressive debut season with Ferrari.

Carlos Sainz gives Ferrari contract update.v1

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is not at all bothered by fans who do not value his talent in Formula 1, and stressed that his team principal Mattia Binotto is aware of his abilities as a racing driver.

Sainz has perhaps gone slightly under the radar in F1 since his arrival into the sport in 2015 with Toro Rosso and, despite six podiums with a combination of McLaren and his current team, is not perennially regarded in the conversation over the best drivers in the business.

The Spaniard, however, does not pay attention to those who undervalue him in the outer extremities of racing, and knows that it is the opinion of his boss and his team that counts.

“Not everyone treats me as an outsider. Anyone who understands this sport, anyone who has worked with me knows that I am not at all,” he told Corriere della sera.

“When Mattia Binotto signed me to Ferrari he knew I could do a good job, which I know is very fast.

“Those who think that my level is not very high do not pay attention because they do not know F1.”

The 27-year-old impressively ended the 2021 season – his first with Ferrari – fifth in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc despite being out-qualified 13-9 and out-raced 14-8 by the Monegasque.

The disparity was ultimately caused by four podiums to Sainz’s name while Leclerc managed one, but before the beginning of the year the former McLaren driver told the 24-year-old that he believed he could out-perform him.

Sainz knew he had a lot to learn, but has always been confident in his abilities.

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“I had just arrived, had a lot to learn, a very strong team-mate. However, even then I believed in myself, trust is never lacking, but I have to be realistic,” he explained.

“Drivers like Leclerc, Norris, Verstappen or Hamilton have no weaknesses. The comparison takes place by improving every detail and it is fun to have a partner like this: you learn by observing.”

The Spaniard joined Toro Rosso at the same time as one Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman coming out on top in the standings come the end of the season.

When Daniil Kvyat was dropped from the main Red Bull team after just four rounds of the 2016 season, advisor Dr Helmut Marko had a choice to make between the junior pair, and in the end he chose the Dutchman.

Verstappen claimed title glory last year in dramatic fashion, but the Spaniard has no gripes with the fact that he was not the one chosen to replace Kvyat.

“I don’t hate anything…. better to say that, otherwise the catchphrase would be triggered,” he added.

Sainz and Leclerc will once again line up alongside one another this year having guided the Maranello team to third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021.