Carlos Sainz has gotten behind the wheel of a Ferrari again and this one is more modern than the one he used to debut at Fiorano. The Madrilenian shared the asphalt of the Jerez circuit with his teammate Charles Leclerc for a total of 85 laps between the two, with a Ferrari SF90 as the machine to use and 18-inch tires to test.
Mystery surrounds these test days. Just a couple of tweets from Pirelli in which images of the complete car are not even shown, but only of a detail, and a few data that are those that resolve the information ballot, since they are being held behind closed doors on the Cádiz track and with the presence of the right and essential personnel to avoid leaks or tip-offs.
What has been confirmed is the program of the day. If on Monday they dedicated the day to riding exclusively with the track artificially wet to be able to put the intermediate 18-inch tires, this Tuesday they had to distribute the task: first thing in the morning these wheels were used to dry the track and, as it progressed On the day, they were able to put the tires dry, still on the experimental compound, to obtain data. The cold of the asphalt, especially in the early morning with barely 11ºC, did not allow until late in the morning to ride in optimal conditions and in reasonable times, although nothing significant.
Pirelli wanted to hear Sainz’s opinion, since he has been able to put it in value alongside Leclerc’s. Both the Monegasque and the Spaniard had previously known what it was like to roll on these new wheels, the aim of which is not only to make next season’s cars more visually attractive, but also more competitive. This novelty together with a completely redesigned new aerodynamics wants to end bland racing with hardly any overtaking that would not occur without the DRS and that allow the cars to roll much closer together without fear of ‘dirty’ air from the defender of the position prevent safely approaching the attacker.
Adaptation to the team
That Sainz is shooting these days with Ferrari and with Pirelli is a double benefit for both. On the one hand, the driver provides some data that he brought from McLaren, some ways of working that can come in handy to try to help in the resurrection of the Scuderia. He already did it in Woking, and he’s going to try to repeat it in Maranello.
But above all who must learn is himself. Sainz faces his seventh season in Formula 1 in 2021 with his third different team and he has already gotten used to readjusting his way of working in the different places he has been: the method of Toro Rosso has little to do with that of Renault and with the McLaren. Under the baton of Riccardo Adami, who inherits the Madrid from Sebastian Vettel’s team, Sainz must learn to communicate perfectly with them.
One of the great virtues of Spanish is his obsessive technical precision. In that sense, he has a lot to thank his legendary father, who since he started karting put it into his head that he was interested not only in going fast but in understanding why and how he could improve. That is a factor that other drivers do not have. Even today at Ferrari there are those who turn their noses when they remember the insipid explanations of Kimi Raikkonen when they carried out tests of this type, although they have to thank him that he is still the last world champion dressed in red.
Sainz’s technical contribution is also ideal for transferring those responsible for Pirelli, who already in the past showed their agreement with the work and the data provided by the Madrid native. It may not be seen now, but all parties (Ferrari, Sainz and Pirelli) are sowing in these tests what could be a great leap in quality in the future. Not surprisingly, in the words of those responsible for Formula 1 itself (whose command is now in the hands of a Ferrari man, Stefano Domenicali), a strong Ferrari is good for competition.