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I push myself to adapt to the Ferrari F1 car

Sainz teamed up with Ferrari for the 2021 season as a replacement for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and moved to the Italian team after two years at McLaren.

The Spaniard has already made an impression since he switched to Ferrari and secured his first podium for the team with a flawless drive in second place at the last race in Monaco.

But as he embeds himself in the team and gets going, Sainz has found that the Ferrari car is “very, very different” from what he was used to from McLaren, forcing him to adapt his approach and driving style .

“My driving style and the way in which I turn, brake, carry speed through the corners in different places and types of corners is very different from last year,” explains Sainz.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer, Red Bull Racing, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, 2nd place, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st place, and Lando Norris, McLaren, 3rd place, on the podium

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“I have to get myself to open my mind and adapt as a rider. And I actually have a lot of fun. “

Sainz doesn’t want to know what exactly the differences are between the Ferrari and the McLaren car, as the two teams will be battling for third place in the constructors’ championship this year.

“It’s something I keep to myself and my team,” said Sainz.

“Of course, the McLaren has also changed a bit with the Mercedes engine. This year in particular they look particularly good on the straights and are very, very strong in this area.

“But in terms of driving technique and well-balanced, whether slow, medium-fast or fast, the cars are completely different and I have to change and adapt a lot.

“I know the difference, but I’m not ready to tell you now.”

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Sainz previously faced the challenge of adapting to various limited mileage cars after switching from Toro Rosso to Renault mid-season in 2017. After that, he only spent a single full campaign at Renault before moving to McLaren.

Driving at McLaren alongside Lando Norris, who felt his former teammate had a knack for making adjustments and adapting to cars even when they weren’t going perfectly, Sainz noticed the difference with new partner Daniel Ricciardo.

“Daniel, from what I’ve seen so far, he wants a car that looks really good on him, maybe a little more,” said Norris.

“Carlos was good at driving a car that wasn’t always so nice to drive. He was very good at that.

“That’s just one of the things I think I’ve learned right now. Daniel is very quick when he has the car around and everything is fine.

“But as soon as there are a few problems or, like most drivers, lose confidence, you just fight a little more.

“I don’t think it’s just his fault, it’s just something that some drivers have more than others – it’s a matter of self-confidence.”

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