Carlos Sainz has disapproved of fans underrating him and putting other drivers above him.
Fans love to compare drivers on the grid, make tier lists and have discussions. However, the second tier is where things get interesting, given the talent on the grid. Drivers like Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris occupy this zone, given their age and what they have achieved. Many are quick to exclude Sainz from this list, and the Spaniard disapproves of it.
In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Sainz mentioned that he is as good as any of the aforementioned drivers. He said if that weren’t the case, Ferrari wouldn’t have signed him, and disapproved of fans underrating him.
“If you sign a Ferrari deal, you must have done something right in your career,” Sainz said.
“I always felt valued by all teams, from Toro Rosso to Renault to McLaren, even after I left them. When the public thinks I’m in the shadows, I wonder why. Regardless of who I’ve raced against, whether Max, Nico, Lando or Charles, I never had the feeling that I was slower than them or that I couldn’t do something they can. I’ve beaten everyone and always pushed them to the limit. I see this as an accolade.
“Max, Lando and Charles are among the top people in the field, also according to my own assessment. I like the challenge of racing against them. And they made me a better driver. That also gave me the confidence that I can take on anyone when I came to Ferrari.
“If I integrate myself properly into the team and set up the car correctly, I don’t have to be afraid of anyone,” Sainz concluded.
On the same level
The underrated Sainz is spot on with his assessment. In fact, he has gotten off to a great start in his first season with Ferrari, bagging 83 points and sitting P6 in the WDC standings. This is three points higher than what his teammate Leclerc scored. More crucially, Sainz has bagged an extra podium compared to Leclerc’s solitary one.
Any comparisons putting Sainz below the aforementioned crop of drivers is rubbish in his opinion. Given his results and the fact that he hasn’t even fully gelled at Ferrari, we are inclined to agree.