Last season before the F1 season began, Ferrari announced the signing of Spanish F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to replace Sebastian Vettel. The prancing horse fans are very happy to see Carlos in red. Carlos started working with the reds already, he tested the 2018 challenger at Fiorano a couple of weeks ago. Ferrari says signing Carlos was a key move for the team however the question that asks itself is what Carlos Sainz’s role at Ferrari is?
Well, Carlos’ signing was a calculated move from Binotto. The Italian mentioned several times that he and the team listened to all of Sainz’s radio messages with McLaren. That was done to analyze Carlos’ understanding of the car he is driving and his analysis of the race and to know what feedback he provides. But why would you replace a multiple F1-champion who can provide you with even more accurate feedback with a driver that is less experienced?
Carlos’s signing is deeper than just beneficial feedback to the team. Binotto must have also taken into consideration Sainz’s character and how he reacts with teammates. If you remember the partnership between Leclerc and Vettel was full of sparks. Literally, there were sparks flying between the duo in Brazil in 2019. Binotto was looking for someone who can cave in when is partnered with a quick driver and a team leader like Charles.
Effectively, Mattia is looking for a “Bottas”. Someone who can consistently score points, can get close to the team leader on track but not challenge him a lot, and most importantly can win when Charles is not on his day. This demonstrates a little bit of Ferrari’s “Master Plan” but will that plan work in the near future? And how will this plan play out for Carlos? Will future team orders ruin Carlos’s racing spirit and mentality?
What do you think Carlos’ actual role at Ferrari? Share your thoughts in the comments so we can have a discussion.