Sainz: 2021 is a lot less important than what people are thinking

Carlos Sainz has admitted that he found people questioning his decision to join Ferrari because of their performance in 2020 “annoying”.

The 26-year-old joins the Scuderia after two impressive years with McLaren, where he would have been hoping to challenge for race wins and podium finishes on a regular basis.

However, Ferrari took a step back last season and finished sixth in the constructors’ championship, prompting questions to be asked of Sainz’s decision to make the move.

Looking ahead to the new season, the former Toro Rosso and Renault driver said that the new regulations that are set to be introduced in 2022 make the team’s performance in the last season of the old regs “less important”.

“Certainly it was a bit annoying, because everyone was kind of implying that Ferrari was going to also be as bad in 2021, and you never know in Formula 1,” Sainz told Autosport. “[Ferrari] of course took a step backwards in 2020, and they were the first ones to admit it, and to be very self-critical.

“But people were just convinced that 2021 was also going to be a struggle. I think that with having a two-year deal with Ferrari and 2022 being a huge change in regulation, 2021 is a lot less important than what people are thinking.

“Even if Ferrari turns its form around and 2021 is great, you never know. People were already implying that 2020 was terrible and going into 2021 is going to be as terrible.

“[It was] annoying at the time, but I kept my head cool. I never said something or anything that I regret. I guess [I’m] happy for that.”