Carlos Sainz is in agreement that driving for different teams helps in experience and learning gain, as he adds on McLaren to Ferrari difference.
Having moved from Toro Rosso to Renault to McLaren and finally to Ferrari, Sainz has had quite the drive changes in modern F1, especially in a short span of time. All of the changes hasn’t decreased his performance level, as well, but only enhanced it.
And Sainz agrees with the assessment too, that the team switches – even though is a hectic process – it eventually helps in experience and learning gain. It puts the F1 drivers in different situations with different set of people, allowing in a better reaction skills.
“I think the switches does help, obviously having that experience of changing teams so often,” said Sainz. “As for time, what I can say is, it’s not a rule of thumb – it’s not three races, it’s not five, not seven before you feel comfortable at a new team. It just really depends on the car and the first feeling of the driver with the car and the experiences that you go through in those first few races.
“What I’m sure of 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. So, it’s very difficult to know exactly how long it will take any driver, there has been teams that it took me one or two races, other teams that 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 and the team,” summed up Sainz, as he added on the difference between McLaren and Ferrari at a general level, rather than going deep.
He always gets surprised that even with cars being different for different F1 teams, they manage to eke out similar lap times. “The car is very different,” started Sainz. “It’s incredible, I’ve been asked this question many times. I still don’t understand how F1 cars can get to a very similar lap time by feeling so different.
“It’s super-interesting because every car has its strengths and weaknesses, things that always surprise you and you have to adapt too. It’s driving style and you’re out there trying to discover how to adapt yourself to try and maximise all the weaknesses and all the benefits that that car gives you.
“But what I’m most surprised of is how different all cars feel, but how close they are on lap time when it comes to qualifying and it’s actually I think quite a nice thing from F1 because you don’t have that in all the other categories,” summed up Sainz, while adding about getting the opportunity to drive for Ferrari at a young age like Charles Leclerc.
Here’s Charles Leclerc on Ferrari progress
Here’s Carlos Sainz in cautious approach in Bahrain