F1: Sainz says Ferrari move 'changed everything'
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Few people could have foreseen some of the jaw-dropping moments which came with the 2021 F1 season, such was the drama and unpredictability which came with the action. But Carlos Sainz managed to nail a rather precise prediction which he made before the first race had even been held.
Every F1 driver was asked to make certain predictions at the start of the season, with the idea of revisiting them once all the action had been concluded.
They were asked what they believed the most surprising moment of the year would be, and which would be their favourite race.
That was before the season opener in Bahrain, and ahead of the Abu Dhabi finale they were all reminded of the early calls they had made.
As far as the biggest surprise of the season goes, it’s not much of a shock to find out that no-one predicted the title race would be decided by a late safety car and an overtake on the very last lap of the final race.
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But Ferrari star Sainz managed a pretty bold prediction of his own which ended up being spot on.
He decided to take a stab at how many racers would win a Grand Prix over the course of a year, and was delighted to realise that he had nailed it.
“Six different drivers will win a Grand Prix,” was the Spaniard’s prediction. “Did this happen?” he asked when reading it back.
“Esteban [Ocon] and Daniel [Ricciardo] for sure, Max [Verstappen] and Lewis [Hamilton], Checo [Perez] for sure… I have five. Valtteri [Bottas] won one? I guess he did, one race.
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“Six, eh? That’s a pretty bold prediction. I feel like I was reading the future.”
Sainz didn’t manage a P1 finish himself, but can be proud of a strong debut season with his new employers.
Ferrari enjoyed a much better season than they did in 2020, and ended up beating McLaren to third place in the constructors’ championship courtesy of a much stronger end to the campaign.
Sainz himself finished with a podium in Abu Dhabi – a result which took him above team-mate Charles Leclerc and former racing partner Lando Norris in the drivers’ standings.
He was the top-ranked driver who did not race for Mercedes or Red Bull, and can be proud of his accomplishments after making the brave switch to join Ferrari from McLaren.
The Spaniard’s best result of the season came in Monaco where he finished as runner-up, only nine seconds behind winner Verstappen.
As it turns out, Sainz had predicted at the start of the season that the race in the principality would be his favourite of the season, and he was proven right once again.
“My favourite race will be going back to Monaco,” was what he had written on his card.
“In 2020 we could not go, and it was by favourite race going back. It was actually a pretty good race for me,” he explained.
“So, pretty good predictions!”
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