Martin Brundle believes Carlos Sainz has a lot of unlocked potential which he claims will be unleashed after the Spaniard wins his first Formula 1 race.
Brundle reviewed the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in his Sky Sports F1 column, where Max Verstappen won the race after what the pundit described as a “masterclass drive from the reigning world champion” despite the fact that “Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari pushed him very hard for the last 15 laps”.
Sainz – impressive in his debut season with Ferrari in 2021 – has notably struggled this year alongside Charles Leclerc, but Brundle did not hide that he had great faith in him.
“Carlos is like Lando Norris and George Russell in that he’s ready to win GPs but those victories just keep eluding him for varied reasons,” he said.
“I’ve always been a supporter of Carlos and sometimes I felt like a lone voice in the paddock, but he’s very good – especially during races.
“The final hurdle for him is to combine his talent, sheer determination, aggression and experience into greater pin-point accuracy and consistency.
“The car will then relentlessly travel forward rather than occasionally sideways, and as soon as he wins the first GP he’ll be away,” the Briton insisted.
Great to see Sainz and Verstappen slug it out
The race in Montreal had many drivers starting out of position as was the case with Leclerc’s penalty, Fernando Alonso’s overachievement in qualifying, in addition to the underachieving Sergio Perez.
The final 15 laps of the race were intense, as Sainz threw everything against Verstappen to try and overtake him for his maiden win to no avail.
“It was great to see those two slugging it out,” Brundle reflected, “and due to a grid formed on wet and intermediate tyres for a race which would only require dry tyres – along with heavy grid penalties for the likes of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari – we had a very random line-up which promised plenty of action.”
They grow up so fast… 😅
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 21, 2022
Fernando Alonso a bundle of competitive energy
Brundle complimented Alonso’s Canada performance saying: “Fernando was the star of qualifying by constantly being fast and ending up on the front row of the grid to much applause, almost as if he has some kind of carbon-fibre-wrapped titanium bus pass due to being nearly 41.
“You can’t keep the man down, he’s a bundle of competitive energy,” the former driver with nine podiums to his name pointed out.
Brundle spoke of Mercedes’ form in Canada, claiming that they are “confusing for everyone at the moment, including themselves” as their form fluctuated over the course of the weekend, up to their strong race result, with Lewis Hamilton taking third, and George Russell in fourth.
“In the race both Mercs were flying along almost on the leading pace,” he said. “To be realistic, if Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez had had normal qualifying and race performances, and had we not had two virtual and then one actual safety car, it would likely have been a solid fifth and sixth for the Merc boys.
“However, once again there does appear to be a good car under that shrink-wrapped bodywork, and they fancy their chances at Silverstone which is next up,” the 63-year-old insisted.
Back in his natural habitat!
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 19, 2022