By Gustavo Borges
Mexico City, Oct 27 (EFE).- Spain’s Carlos Sainz said here Thursday that he remains committed to becoming the best driver in Formula One and is optimistic about the prospects for him and his Ferrari team in 2023.
“My objective doesn’t change, it continues being to be the world champion as soon as possible,” he said in an interview with EFE ahead of the Mexico Grand Prix.
The 28-year-old Madrid native, who is fifth in the driver standings with three races left in the season, has had eight podium finishes in 2022, including a win in the British Grand Prix.
But the last two races have been rough for Sainz, who was knocked out of the United States Grand Prix in the first lap after being clipped by George Russell (Mercedes).
“You can’t remain focused on the previous result, even less when it wasn’t your fault, but rather a mistake by another driver. I can’t do anything against that, only concentrate on the Mexico Grand Prix,” he said. “Luck comes and goes.”
While not satisfied with this year’s results, Sainz is upbeat about the state of affairs at Ferrari.
“It’s been a relatively positive season for the team because we have returned to being competitive, which was Ferrari’s goal, to return to being in the fight to win races. For me it has not been a good year because of one thing and another, but it has given me confidence in facing next year,” he said.
His Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc of Monaco, is second in the driver standings.
“The relationship with Leclerc is easy,” Sainz told EFE. “We are two kids with similar lifestyles, we have similar passions, we get along well. We are very competitive, there are all kinds of rivalries between us, but they are healthy rivalries. We laugh a lot.”
While Red Bull, Verstappen’s team, has already won the 2022 constructor’s title, Ferrari is well-placed to finish second, ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
“This Sunday we are going to try to win for Ferrari, which is what we do in all the races,” the Spaniard said, adding that after suffering through two poor seasons, the Scuderia was not in a position to challenge Red Bull in 2022.
Sainz sees the changes to F1 rules, specifically the imposition of spending limits, as likely to improve the sport.
“The races are more entertaining,” he said. “It’s true that Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari still have an advantage over the rest, but they will get closer with the budget limit.” EFE gb/dr