Mattia Binotto: Carlos Sainz must get used to the "pressure" of a frontrunning car

With a booming start by Ferrari this season, Mattia Binotto thinks Carlos Sainz needs to learn to “manage the pressure” of having a race-winning car.

Last season Sainz signed for Ferrari, impressing many in the paddock as he got the better of his much-lauded team-mate Charles Leclerc. But something has gone wrong this season.

While Leclerc has managed to punch through all of the other drivers and lead the Drivers’ Championship, Sainz is struggling to get the better of his team-mate and as seen in Friday’s qualifying session at Imola, is bringing out red flags far too often.

He added another DNF to his name in Sunday’s grand prix and although his incident with Daniel Ricciardo was by no means the Ferrari driver’s fault, it did mean a second successive Sunday race without a single point.

Ferrari, though, believe in the Spanish driver and last week announced he had committed to the Scuderia for a further two years, signing a new deal that runs until the end of 2024.

“We are very happy with him, the way he has integrated into the team, the way he is performing,” said Binotto as per The Race. “And I think simply he is matching the expectations.”

LAP 1/63

Contact between Ricciardo and Sainz

The Aussie has got going again but the Spaniard is beached in the gravel and out of the race

⚠️ SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED ⚠️#ImolaGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/TGVi9Ogufr

— Formula 1 (@F1) April 24, 2022

But what Sainz needs to do now is get a handle on the pressure that comes with knowing he is in a position to fight for race wins in a top car.

“I think that’s a matter of managing the pressure,” Binotto added of his driver who has previously raced for Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren.

“It is maybe the first time in his career he has got a car which is fast enough to compete for the best positions and he simply needs to get used to that.

“But he will do it very quickly because I know how smart and how capable he is to manage the pressure.”

After seeing a big increase in pace, Binotto is confident Sainz will be the right driver for Ferrari next year and is creating a little bit of consistency and safety in keeping on the 27-year-old until the end of 2024.

“I don’t think there are issues,” said Binotto.

“Certainly he needs to adapt. I think he has done a couple of mistakes, which are important. But nevertheless, I think he is improving himself, he is going faster and faster.

“It was the right moment to look ahead. I think that by renewing and extending it’s giving the right stability to the team as well.

“We know our drivers are confirmed to the end of 2024. And we can build on it.

 

“I think as Ferrari, our main objective is to try to create the foundations for the future.

“And together with that line-up, I think it’s the best we can do.”

 

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