When Carlos Sainz (29) arrived at Ferrari in 2021, teammate Charles Leclerc (25) had already been in Maranello for two years, where he was considered a potential phenomenon, the anti-Verstappen. The Monegasque always enjoyed the sympathies of the Scuderia's technical and management leadership. Sainz had to win the affection of the workers and the trust of the bosses. In the first year he beat the neighbor (5th -7th, by 5.5 points), but Leclerc was better in 2022 (2nd -5th, with 62 more points). So, this season Carletes was playing it in a personal duel. And, until Monza, he was behind...
For this reason, the third place in the Italian GP in front of the fans and the triumph in Singapore have been for Sainz an exchangeable transfer with a renewal..., at least to his credit (he has a contract until 2024). "It's an important moment for me personally, and for Ferrari. There have been two opportunities this year, since the second half of the season, to get a podium in Monza and to get a win here, and we took advantage of both", claimed the successes of a Sainz who in the last two races totaled 40 points, 16 more than his teammate (with two quarters).
Sainz is aware that he lives his momentum, he confirms that he is a second-round driver, and that he is saving face at Ferrari. In Monza he pulled out his elbows to impose his status in front of Leclerc, with whom he fought for the third drawer of the podium, and in Singapore, after dominating the training and taking the pole, he once again established himself as team leader, with the strategy in his favor; that is, with Charles relegated to gregarious functions. And he did not disappoint the only "opportunity of the whole year" to obtain the victory, given the absence of the Red Bull. "We took advantage of the opportunity, which is not easy", pointed out the Madrid native, proud to have beaten an invisible rival like the pressure.
“There's always more pressure when you only have one chance, so today we were under pressure the whole race. We had to think, make tactics, control the tires, control the DRS and we did everything perfectly and we took the victory home", said Sainz, and he admitted that the race in Singapore had been "a more mental race than physical, and it's strange to say that in this circuit", expressing the psychological component that usually goes unnoticed.
Monza and Singapore can be a turning point in the evolution of Sainz, 5th in the World Championship, 28 points behind Alonso. In both races, the Madrid native had to drive "looking too much in the rear-view mirrors", to manage, defensively. "I'd rather do a race like the one in Austria, on the attack... But if you have to do races like that to win them, you'll have to do them more often and take advantage of them."
And, despite the fact that Red Bull will surely dance it again and opt for victory in Japan, for Sainz the Monza-Singapore combination means a resurgence of the performance of Ferrari, the third team in the championship, 24 points behind Mercedes. "Thank you to everyone at Ferrari, because they have made a great effort to turn around the tumultuous start we have had this season. We've done it perfectly and we're leaving with a victory that I'm sure all of Italy and all of Ferrari will be proud of," he commented with a wink at the fans and bosses, and forgot his recent criticism of the red wall. As in Austria, in July, after sacrificing the podium for Leclerc. "You play as a team and you're left with a bitter feeling," he said against the strategy.