Mattia Binotto says Ferrari were initially ‘sceptical’ about Carlos Sainz's potential

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto admits Carlos Sainz came good in 2021 after the team were sceptical about his potential initially.

Before the 2020 campaign had been able to start, Ferrari confirmed that season would be Sebastian Vettel’s last with the team, setting the task of finding a replacement for the four-time former World Champion.

Their choice was Sainz, who arrived at Maranello with momentum after a pair of strong seasons at McLaren where he had secured P6 in the Drivers’ Championship in both 2019 and 2020.

Those strong showings continued into 2021, with four podium finishes helping Sainz to go one better and finish P5 in the 2021 standings, scoring 5.5 points more than his team-mate Charles Leclerc across the season.

Interestingly, Binotto was not so sure about Sainz when he first signed, but it is safe to say any doubts have been put to bed.

“We are very happy with our drivers,” Binotto told Sky Italia.

“We have known Charles for a long time, he has been with us since the Ferrari Driver Academy. He is a talented driver, very fast in qualifying who has been able to grow this year too – he did it in the race in his management of the tyres and the race itself. I am very happy with Leclerc’s continued growth.

“Sainz has shown his full value. We were sceptical when we announced him, but he was taken on because we were convinced he could bring points to the Scuderia in the Constructors’ Championship and this year he has shown that.

“He has finished every race, he has always scored points except for two GPs, he has had a great championship and he has settled in quickly. He is a driver we know we can count on. It’s a beautiful couple if we think about our future.”

 

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone revealed recently there was surprise in the Ferrari camp to see Sainz outscore Leclerc this season.

“Carlos Sainz’s father called me and told me about his son’s situation,” he told Blick.

“Let’s put it this way…many people in Maranello are surprised the Spaniard was able to give team-mate Charles Leclerc such a run for his money in 2021.”

 

Source: Read Full Article