Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and failed championship attempts come to mind when reflecting on the previous decade of Formula 1 and it’s the most iconic team. Although, ex-Ferrari drivers did not always get along off the track there are many similarities we can draw from their Ferrari days. Unfortunately, negative comparisons outscore the positive ones.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Sainz has responded to the claim that Ferrari attracts strong drivers but then swallows them up and deprives them of all their strength: “Ferrari is not a team that eats and devours its drivers. If you see Vettel’s career… what driver wouldn’t have wanted to spend five years at Ferrari like he has had? The longest I’ve been in a team is two years, so if Ferrari is a team that devours drivers, what are Renault, Toro Rosso and all the others?”
Carlos Sainz Jr. is no stranger adapting to a new team. After signing for Toro Rosso in 2015, partnering Max Verstappen, and spending almost three full years with the team, the Spaniard switched to Renault just before the end of 2017 season only to be replaced a year later by Daniel Ricciardo. After being dropped from Renault, it seemed as if Carlos has finally found his place in the McLaren garage, but that has not proven to be the case as he, once again, made a sensational move, this time signing for Ferrari.
Sainz then argues that instead of the swallowing rhetoric, Ferrari’s strategy can be better explained by a cycle metaphor: “Alonso also spent five years at Ferrari. That doesn’t seem like a team that devours drivers, but cycles.Of course I want to have a cycle at Ferrari, create a similar environment [to McLaren] there. I already have experience in creating a works team, and I hope I have a team equal, similar or better than the one I have at McLaren. I’m going to do my best to have it.”