Mattia Binotto has revealed that Ferrari listened to all of Carlos Sainz‘s radio messages in order to get a better understanding of how he operates.
Sainz will join up with the Scuderia in 2021 as the replacement for the outgoing Sebastian Vettel after impressing with McLaren over the last two seasons.
The Spaniard finished on the podium at the Italian Grand Prix and finished sixth in the drivers’ standings last year, helping McLaren to third place in the constructors’ championship. Ferrari, on the other hand, endured a very difficult campaign and ended the season in sixth.
Discussing the prospect of Sainz’s arrival, Binotto described him as “methodical” and a “hard worker”.
“Before we made him an offer, we listened to all his radio communications just to see the way he was communicating,” he told the Beyond the Grid podcast. “And you can see the way he is communicating is somehow telling you a lot about the way he is approaching the exercise – very precise, I think.
“He’s a hard worker, he’s methodical, he’s robust, and I think they were all components that were important for us.”
Asked to assess his qualities as a driver, Binotto said that he was a “fast” driver who has improved his qualifying performance.
“In the race he is consistent – he is fast, he is defending, he is attacking – but is bringing always the car to the finish line in a consistent way so I think he is a good driver to build a good season on of constructors’ points,” he added.
“Then we made an analysis on his speed; I believe he is fast, we believed he was fast, and I think he has proved even this season to be very fast if you are comparing to Norris who, already last year proved to be a very fast driver.
“But if you look at Carlos in 2020, I think in the comparison he has been very strong, I think improved himself in quali compared to what it was before and is still very strong in the race. So he is a hard worker.
“On top of that he is young, which is why I think he’s got many years of experience in F1 – he’s still a young driver so he’s got a lot of time to develop, and he’s not certainly at the end of his career.”