Carlos Sainz’s famous father says his Ferrari-racing son sent the Maranello team the best possible message at Monza last weekend.
Amid uncertainty about whether Sainz, 29, will be offered a new Ferrari contract for 2025 and beyond, his father and rally legend Carlos Sainz snr told a specialist publication that Audi may be interested.
At Ferrari’s home race at Monza last weekend, Sainz had a strong weekend – with his highly-rated teammate Charles Leclerc admitting he copied his Spanish colleague’s car setup.
Sainz then challenged Max Verstappen for the victory before ultimately finishing on the podium – but not before a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with Leclerc.
The battle was despite team boss Frederic Vasseur ordering that the pair not take any “risk” in the latter stages of the race.
“They made me tremble a bit,” Vasseur admitted afterwards.
“Yes, I told them not to risk too much, but we left the battle open, relying on them acting responsibly.
“I like to let them fight. I’m like that. We are going to keep it until the end of the season that there is no number 1 and number 2.”
Sainz’s father is not sure how he feels about that explanation.
“Funny that sometimes they can attack and other times they cannot. Sometimes they can fight among themselves and other times they cannot,” he is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
“They’ll have to clarify that among themselves,” he added.
Spanish F1 commentator Antonio Lobato agrees that the issue of ‘team orders’ at Ferrari sometimes depends on which of the two drivers are ahead of the other.
When asked about Vasseur’s post-race comments about allowing Sainz and Leclerc to battle despite the order of ‘no risk’, Lobato said on DAZN: “Vasseur either has a very bad memory or he has a lot of cheek.
“It’s one or the other, or both.”
As for the message his son gave Ferrari with his performance at Monza, Sainz snr commented: “He sent the type of message that I like.”
Former Ferrari engineer Toni Cuquerella agrees that Ferrari is sometimes inconsistent with how it enforces team orders.
“I don’t understand it,” he said. “The order was not to put the podium at risk, but they ended up fighting, risking putting them both in the gravel.
“They came close to a resounding and unnecessary failure.”
When asked about that sort of critique, Vasseur insisted: “No, it wasn’t too much of a risk.
“Now is not the time for any polemical discussion. If we freeze the position, everyone complains.
“This time we didn’t do that and it was nice to be able to see a race like that. Of course it’s easy to respond like this when everything turns out well, but I think it was the best way to thank the Tifosi after such strong support from the Tifosi,” the Frenchman added.
“The idea of risk is always relative, a matter of opinion, but I’m proud that I made that decision and that the drivers did a good job.”