Carlos Sainz (Madrid, 28 years old) He presents himself in work overalls after having completed three laps of the Fiorano circuit with the Ferrari SF-23. The Spanish pilot answered questions from the written press in Maranello.
—Fighting for the title, is that a goal this year?
—When you are a Ferrari driver and you are as competitive as I am, the objective before a season has to be to fight for the World Cup and try to win it. I think so and the whole team. But you have to look at the short term and if you want to be world champion you have to be the best driver and the best team. I focus on what I can do in the short term, how to be the best driver on the grid. I have worked a lot in winter and I feel more confident and better prepared than last year, I know what I have to do to fight in front. But in February we are all world champions and prepared, what matters is how you maintain your personal goals as the season progresses.
—How are the sensations after this presentation with the car on the track?
It’s amazing what they’ve organized. Formula 1 needs these kinds of presentations with the media, the fans, the sponsors, the engineers and the mechanics.
—Looks like a good winter for the SF-23…
—I am positive because nothing went wrong. It is a risk to put a new F1 car on the track and we can all enjoy it without problems on the track. Installation laps always have little problems. I was able to push through the corners and we have already given feedback to the engineers. We will have the 100 kilometers this Wednesday (a ‘filming day’), but until Bahrain we will not really know how the car behaves. At least we have already completed a series of steps.
—Last year it took time to get the new generation of cars. Will this year be similar?
—I am optimistic, it should be a faster process because the car is an evolution of last year, and I was already close to the limit of the car. I hope I can pick up where I left off and take a step in that direction to have a stronger start to the season.
—You have pole positions, a victory, how does that influence your confidence as a Ferrari driver?
-I have faith. I left last season very clear on where I wanted to improve, convinced on how to be a better driver. It wasn’t an easy season but I won a race, had many podiums and three pole positions with a car that I was not at my best level with. As soon as I am comfortable in the car, I know that I am capable of doing good things. I’m excited for what’s to come this year.
“How about Fred Vasseur?”
—It has gone well, although it has been a short time. You have to meet more than 1,000 people and see how the team works before the first race and it’s hard to have an influence. We must give it time, although I already perceive different things. I respect everything he has done in his past and I am sure that he will help us change and improve.