By David Ramiro
Madrid, Sep 19 (EFE).- Spanish Formula One driver Carlos Sainz is relishing his second season at Ferrari, which he says is a dream come true for any race driver, but he has already set his sights on fighting for the title in 2023.
Despite his youth at 28, Sainz is already a veteran of the F1 circuit with eight seasons under his belt. He told Efe in an interview Monday that his aim is to go toe to toe with current champion Red Bull’s Max Verstappen next year.
Efe: After Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy, three races in three weeks, how do you feel in this period of active rest?
CARLOS SAINZ: We’re halfway through the season. We have tough races still to come like Singapore, lots of travel, jet lag and you have to find a balance between rest and keeping active to be the best prepared you can for what is left.
Efe: The next stop is Singapore, a circuit you know well. What do you expect from it?
CS: It will be very tough physically because it always has been with the humidity and the heat. It’s the toughest race of the championship and for that reason this week I’ll get ready by training at high temperature and acclimatizing myself.
I think it’s a circuit that suits the car well, and it could be a good opportunity to go for victory, which would be great before the season is over.
Efe: For next year, what’s required of the Ferrari project?
CS: The foundation is already there. We have a solid foundation this year with a very good car and a team that is making progress. We have to keep trying to improve a few things. We have to try to improve a couple of things like reliability and consistency but we have to bear in mind that this year we have fought against a team like Red Bull, which is doing things perfectly. We have to learn and be the team that does that next year.
Efe: Could we see Ferrari fighting for the title in 2023?
CS: I think so. This year we would have been fighting for the title if we had done things a little better and had a little bit of luck at the beginning of the season.
Ferrari, after the big improvement from last year to this, has to make that the objective.
Efe: Last year you had four podium finishes. This year, one victory and six podium finishes. How would you evaluate your season? Are you satisfied?
CS: Honestly, not 100%. There were many good moments and ones I will not forget, like that first victory, but it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster because there were complicated moments. It’s been hard to get rhythm and a run of good results in the season, there have been reliability issues and it’s that consistency that can lead you into a fight for the title.
Efe: After Monza, a lot of press were describing Verstappen as untouchable.
CS: Not only Verstappen, but also Red Bull. Verstappen is having a ten out of ten year but Red Bull is also not making any mistakes. Neither in their strategy nor in the times they are required to make important decisions. They get penalties in the race where they know they have the strongest car.
Efe: Is this a dream of yours to be with Ferrari?
CS: Yes, I think that it would be any driver’s dream. To be a part of the Scuderia and win is the highest aspiration you can have as a race driver. EFE