It might not be incorrect to suggest that few other drivers have endured what a certain Carlos Sainz of Ferrari already has. In that regard, one may not be overstating it by suggesting Sainz is among the few on the current grid to have suffered from sudden mixed fortunes or the changing vagaries of the sport as one calls it.
Right on top in a race one moment, and then, gutted not long after in the wake of a race retirement! That’s when the brand new Formula 1 world championship of 2022 is still in its early days. After all, what else would you say with only five races completed (with another eighteen left ahead)?
Factually speaking, from being Ferrari’s Mr. Consistent last year, the man largely responsible for bringing the red force toward the front of the fighting five on the grid to being the driver who collected podiums on consecutive occasions right at the start of 2022, Carlos Sainz was pretty much everywhere.
A string of lows for Carlos Sainz
While you may not have considered him as an ‘invincible’ on the track, it wasn’t hard to deny how he was a fighting force to reckon with. Think of valiant second at Bahrain, next-best only to Charles Leclerc, followed by the fighting third at Saudi Arabia. Though, there again, his teammate finished ahead of him.
But having said that, what would follow thereafter would be a string of lows for which the Spaniard wasn’t really to be blamed. The unforeseen contact with the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo at Imola, home to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, turned into an unmitigated disaster for the talented Ferrari driver.
Though that wasn’t before the anti-stall issues at the Albert Park circuit at Melbourne, which ultimately hampered his drive.
Not long after his tyre change, having switched to the harder compounds, Carlos Sainz would evidence yet another disaster as he’d spin off at around turn 10 in a botched up move to pass Haas’ Mick Schumacher.
Therefore, in the light of where he already was at the start of the season, clearly among the top three to facing the brunt of two back-to-back DNFs thereafter, if there was someone on the present grid who needed a better day- and desperately so- then it was Sainz of Ferrari.
Which is why when he expressed that, “I’d like to finish the race first,” prior to the start of the first-of-its-kind Miami Grand Prix, you could sense the urgency in the mild-mannered driver popularly labeled F1’s “Smooth Operator!”
Moreover, that he managed to break into the top three in the end, combining forces with Charles Leclerc to push for a strong Ferrari result, was indeed a welcome change of sorts. More importantly, it put Carlos Sainz where we think he belongs given his fighting spirit and the appetite for a struggle: among those fighting at the front!
Carlos Sainz on his Miami drive
His P3, you could say, was just the kind of result the doctor had ordered. Meanwhile, here’s what the 27-year-old Madrid born driver had to say about his own performance in the US of A:
“I think it was exactly what I needed, a clean race. No issues, decent start for starting on the right-hand side; there was zero grip out there on the right side but I did a clean race,” he said. “I think I managed to learn quite a lot from the car, managed to complete a race distance that I hadn’t done two races in a row, so it was important.”
That being said, elaborating more on his own drive at the famous party destination in the United States, he’d further add, “
I was still doing a couple of mistakes out there during the race, just because I was trying the car and trying myself out there.
“The important thing is that we got a full race in, but at some stages of the race I was pretty quick, and also the battles and the feeling with the car in battle with Checo, you know what to do with the battery, with the tyres – I think it gave me a good understanding of what to do in the future.”