After two consecutive disappointing race weekends for Carlos Sainz in Imola and Australia, the Spaniard once again found himself in the barriers during FP2 ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Former Italian-American racing driver Mario Andretti claimed that if Sainz manages to "refine" certain aspects of his driving, he has the potential to be fighting at the level of his team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Referring to the spin, during his commentary on Sky Sports F1, Andretti said:
“Sometimes you just can’t catch a breath. You’re trying but you still have to be right on top of it all, and the competition doesn’t get any softer. So he’s on it, his team-mate [Charles Leclerc] obviously is always right there. I hate to see it, obviously we all do, but he’ll get it right.”
"Any team, you can sugar-coat it any way you like. I don’t think they have to put any more pressure on him than he has on himself, quite honestly. The fact that he’s giving ten tenths [of effort] throughout is better than just lagging behind, [in the] midfield and so forth. He’s up there, he’s capable, it’s just about maybe just refining certain aspects of it. I don’t like to slow drivers down to the point that they lose that ‘edge’. You can see that he’s capable, so he’ll be alright.”
Describing the pressures that come with driving for an iconic team like Ferrari at a time when your team-mate is performing at the top level, Andretti added:
“Yes you do [feel pressure], but that’s the right kind of pressure, though. They expect you to bring results, nothing wrong with that. You expect that of yourself. But if you let that get to you in a negative way, then you’d better rethink a bit.”
Ahead of the Imola GP, Ferrari announced that Carlos Sainz had signed a contract extension with Ferrari, keeping him in the team until the end of 2024.
"I know how to come out of it" - Carlos Sainz has faith that he can come back stronger
The 27-year-old, who is still chasing his maiden F1 race win, has had a devastating start to the season with DNFs at two out of the first four races, while his team-mate is leading the championship with two wins to his name.
As reported by formula1.com, Sainz compared his struggles to that of last year, claiming that if he could come out of it to have his best year so far in 2021, he can certainly do the same this year:
“I am the first one that is not happy with the last two crashes… and I am the first one that is analysing it and trying to take conclusions from it. I remember going through a very similar scenario last year where I crashed a couple of times and right after them came my best run of races in Formula 1. So I know how to come out of it."
Carlos Sainz currently stands fifth in the 2022 Driver Standings with a total of 38 points.