Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz insists the youth of himself and teammate Charles Leclerc will not be trouble in 2021 on account of their experience.

At 26 and 23 respectively and with an average age of 24.5, Sainz and Leclerc form Ferrari’s youngest driver line-up in F1 since 1968, but between them the two share nine seasons of experience in the sport. This experience, Sainz says, helps them to be more responsible drivers, who understand the meaning of racing for a team such as Ferrari.

The Spaniard argues that age is not such a significant factor as many suggest, and insists that he and Leclerc – who’ve collectively raced at five different F1 teams – have amassed the experience necessary to drive for a top team and “are not rookies anymore.” Sainz also says that he and his Monegasque teammate will help to create a reinvigorated Ferrari.

“To be honest I don’t think age on its own is such an important factor,” Sainz began after his F1 test for the team at Fiorano. “If anything, experience in this sport is more valuable than age. Obviously the older you are the more experienced you get, but even that is not a guarantee that you will be faster.

“I’m only 26 years old but I’ve already done six seasons in Formula 1 and have driven for three different teams before joining Ferrari. Charles is 23 years old but he is about to start his fourth season in Formula 1 and his third year with the team, so he knows the car and his way around Maranello perfectly.

“My point is that, despite being the youngest pair of drivers of at the Scuderia in many years, we are not rookies anymore and we understand the importance and responsibility of driving for Ferrari. As I said before, I really look forward to that responsibility in a good and positive way.

“I’m sure that, together with Charles, we are going to bring motivation, passion and hunger to the team,” said Sainz, who is due to make his Ferrari F1 debut later in the year at the Bahrain GP. The Spaniard tested for Ferrari in late January, one of seven – including Leclerc – to do so over the course of the final week of the month.

Interestingly, Sainz and Leclerc are the first non-title holding pair at Ferrari since the 2007 F1 season, when they had Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. They started the season with zero titles between the two, although, they ended with the Finn winning it.

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