“It’s crazy, and I love it”

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Given that the score is 100-0 after the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, Carlos Sainz Jr. will likely never catch up with Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1 wins. That hardly makes the 27-year-old Spanish player. unique years, as it could take a decade or more for anyone, including Max Verstappen, to approach Hamilton’s accomplishments.

Sainz is in a unique position to make its mark in a different way. He’s the driver one of the big names in racing relies on to restore his reputation.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc give Ferrari a solid driving tandem

Spaniard Carlos Sainz and Ferrari wave to the crowd from the grid ahead of the Turkish Formula 1 Grand Prix on October 10, 2021. | Umit Bektas – Pool / Getty Images

No Formula 1 team has recorded more than Scuderia Ferrari’s 238 victories, and the legendary Italian team have also won 16 constructors ‘titles and 15 drivers’ championships. Once Michael Schumacher won his last series title in 2004 and then retired two years later, much of the magic is gone as well.

Although Kimi Raikkonen won the Drivers’ World Championship in 2007, there has been no title since. Ferrari drew four-time Infiniti Red Bull champion Sebastian Vettel in 2015, but his 14 wins in six seasons have never translated into a season championship.

Now Ferrari have a solid pair of drivers as they strive to catch up with Red Bull and Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc, 24, entered Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo in 2018 and moved to Ferrari the following season. With two wins and eight more podiums in 2019, he gave the team hope for the future. Sadly, Ferrari’s offseason schedule was a disappointment, and Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggled through the pandemic-delayed 2020 season.

When Ferrari and Vettel couldn’t agree on a new contract, the team recruited Carlos Sainz from McLaren, where he landed two podiums in two years.

Carlos Sainz Jr. finds Ferrari fan adoration intriguing

Ferrari and Italian motorsport are synonymous. If the men’s national soccer team is the No. 1 passion of sports fans in the country, then the running gear from Maranello in northern Italy is clearly No. 2.

Coming from a family of runners and originally from Spain, where running is also a favorite sport, Sainz was ready to receive the attention he would get in Italy. But what he found was a surprise.

“It’s true that the fans in Italy are super passionate and super respectful in a way that I never expected,” he said. Motorsport.com. “I mean, even touching you or shaking your hand, for them it’s something super special. They really respect you, and they really put you on a pedestal for some reason, and it’s pretty impactful. .

“They get very nervous when you’re around them, and it’s a feeling I’ve never had before as a driver, how nervous people get when you’re around them.

“I pat them on the back and say, ‘Come on, I’m 27, like you. Relax and take the photos. ‘ But I often take the phone from them and pick it up myself.

“It’s crazy, and I love it.”

What’s next for Carlos Sainz and Ferrari?

Ferrari was a solid second behind Mercedes in the 2019 Manufacturers’ Rankings, but the organization slipped to an embarrassing sixth last season, unable to overcome engine issues early in the season.

Mercedes and Red Bull will battle for the 2021 championship, and Ferrari and McLaren are in a two-horse race for third place.

Sainz has just finished sixth in the drivers’ standings over the past two seasons. As the Ferrari program slowly gets back on its feet with two competent drivers and as Valtteri Bottas, who often finishes in the top three, leaves Mercedes after the season, 2022 offers Sainz a chance to add to his three podiums this season and five for his career.

He is expected to make the headlines regularly, much to the delight of his Italian supporters.

All statistics are courtesy of Race reference.

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