Carlos Sainz Jr. feels he needs to do more to get comfortable with his new car. The Spaniard joined Ferrari from McLaren last season. He feels that the shortened pre-season test wasn't enough to familiarize himself with the car.
“From the opportunities available, I think we've done actually a really good job over the winter to get here as... prepared as I can be,” Carlos Sainz said.
Speaking about his preparations for the season, the Spaniard said:
“I've done a lot of simulator work, the three days we did here [at Bahrain], we ran smoothly."
"I wish I had more mileage in the car, I wish winter testing would have been a bit longer than what it was, but all things considered, I feel like I'm ready to give it a go."
The Spaniard is accustomed to joining new teams. Carlos Sainz will race for a fourth team in just seven seasons in the sport.
When Sainz was asked if he has benefitted from switching teams often, he said:
“I think it does help, obviously, having that experience of changing teams so often."
“What I'm obviously sure is that in race one, you're never as ready as you are in a second or third year of experience with a car or with a team. But at the same time, if the feeling with the car is good and with the team is very good, you can still perform at a very high level."
Carlos Sainz Jr. further added that he wasn't entirely certain when he could drive the car to its limits.
"It's very difficult to know exactly how long it will take any driver [to get comfortable]; there's been teams that took me one or two races, other teams where it took me definitely longer than that. Difficult to tell, and until I do the first few races, I will not be able to really tell when I am getting closer to the limit of the car.”
Incredible difference between Ferrari and McLaren: Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz emphasized how different the cars are to drive, despite being matched on speed. He elaborated on the differences between the 2020 McLaren and the 2021 Ferrari he now drives.
"They’re very different – it’s incredible.”
“I still don't understand how Formula 1 cars can get to a very similar lap time by feeling so different. It's super interesting because every car has its strengths, its weaknesses, things that always surprise you, and you have to adapt to its driving style and you're out there trying to discover how to adapt yourself to try and maximize all the weaknesses and all the benefits that that car gives you."