Sainz hits out at 2022 ‘criticism’

Carlos Sainz has revealed the most “frustrating” thing about his time at Ferrari so far.

The Spaniard admits to struggling initially this year as his teammate Charles Leclerc impressed in the 2022 car.

But once Sainz got up to speed, he says he was dismayed that even Ferrari supporters were calling for him to be relegated to clear ‘number 2’ status.

“I can understand that after the first few races, Charles was clearly one step ahead in both qualifying and race pace,” he told AS newspaper.

“But in the middle of the season I improved a lot. I started getting into the fight more and it was kind of frustrating in a way because it seemed like some people didn’t want me there.

“I was criticised for not being there, and when I started being there, some wondered what I was doing up front and thought I should let Charles win everything.

“It was frustrating, especially from the press. Luckily I don’t pay too much attention to what is said,” Sainz added.

The 28-year-old said that despite Ferrari’s obvious driver hierarchies of the past, the current management is determined to put two strong drivers in the cars.

“Mattia (Binotto) and the team recognise that it is one of our strengths,” said Sainz.

“But it is clear that there were some people who follow Ferrari who did not want there to be two drivers. Perhaps that is a question for others though because I am convinced that the best thing for the team is to have two drivers as close as possible to each other.”

Finally, Sainz was asked whether Red Bull or Max Verstappen should receive the lion’s share of the credit for their dominance this year.

“It’s the car, it’s the driver, it’s the team, it’s the strategy, it’s the pitstops,” he answered.

“They do so many races without making a mistake – doing things perfectly. On top of that, when Max fails or spins, they are able to solve it quickly.

“That’s the difference and the reason they are dominating.”

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