Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 Bahrain

Sainz: I’m pushing myself to open my mind and adapt

Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 Bahrain

Carlos Sainz has said that he is having to “open” his mind in order to adapt to the Ferrari SF21 following his off-season move from McLaren.

The Spaniard has impressed in his opening five races with the Scuderia, picking up his first podium with the team last time out at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sainz currently sits sixth in the drivers’ championship, two points behind teammate Charles Leclerc, and has helped Ferrari keep in touch with his old team McLaren in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship.

It has not all been plain sailing for the 26-year-old, but he explained that he has enjoyed the challenge so far this season.

“My driving style and the way I turn in, brake, carry speed through the corners in different places and different corner types is very different to last year,” he said. “I’m having to push myself to open my mind and adapt as a driver.

“And I actually find it really good fun.”

Asked what similarities there were between the McLaren he drove last year and this season’s Ferrari, Sainz was guarded.

“It’s something that I keep for myself and my team,” he added.

“Obviously the McLaren might have changed a bit also with the Mercedes power unit. Especially this year, they look particularly good on the straights and and they are very, very strong in that area.

“But driving-wise and balance-wise, doesn’t matter if it’s low-speed, medium-speed and high-speed, they are completely different cars and I am having to change quite a lot and adapt.

“I know the difference, but I’m not willing to tell you now.”

Free practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix gets underway at 12:30pm local time on Friday.