Carlos Sainz was one of the several drivers who swapped teams ahead of the 2021 season. The Spaniard decided to sign up for Ferrari, after a two year stint with McLaren. Sainz replaced Sebastian Vettel at the Italian giants, who endured a torrid time in his last season at the team.
Carlos Sainz also secured a podium finish at the Monte Carlo GP, where he finished as P2. The Spaniard spoke about his tenure at Renault, and how it affected his driving in 2017 and 2018.
“The rumours [soon] started about Ricciardo coming to Renault, [Esteban] Ocon, and I wasn’t in a good place,” Sainz told BBC Sport.
“I didn’t feel as liked or as wanted. One thing I discovered in McLaren is what a difference it makes for an athlete to perform in an atmosphere and in a team where they appreciate your value, where they give you the importance and the perfect environment to perform at the highest level, psychologically but also technically,” he added.
Carlos Sainz does not understand why changing teams has become a newsworthy topic
Carlos Sainz was one of the five drivers who changed their teams ahead of the 2021 season. The Spaniard stated that when he made his move to McLaren in 2019, no one was talking about changing teams, and how it affects the performance of a driver.
The Spaniard took some time to get adjusted at McLaren, and did not deliver impressive results in his first season. However, he did well in his second season, and expressed gratitude to the McLaren staff for giving him the opportunity.
“I had to adapt to a new team after three years with Toro Rosso but that year no one was talking about adapting to new teams,” Sainz explained.
“It feels like this is the new thing now because five drivers have changed teams, but back in 2019 no one heard about the challenge of changing teams and I was, like, putting my hand up and saying: ‘Guys, this takes time and I’m going to need time to perform my best,” said Sainz.
“Anyway, I didn’t have my best year but in McLaren I definitely found my home and I’m really thankful to Zak Brown and everyone in McLaren for giving me that two-year deal. I managed to pay them back in terms of results,” he added.