What do Felipe Massa and Carlos Sainz have in common? Well, for sure, for starters, ten in ten would immediately launch and say that they drove for the same team, one in the past, and the other at present: Ferrari. But the other thing, apart from the two being fluent in Spanish, is that both drivers have mutual respect for each other.
Moreover, the amount of respect that Felipe Massa has for Carlos Sainz Jr. was proven just a few days ago wherein the driver with 11 wins and over 40 podiums against his name shared that he has always held high regards for Carlos Sainz Jr., the Spaniard currently in his first season with the high fliers of the grid- Ferrari!
As a matter of fact, Massa’s respect for Sainz is established by the fact that the Brazilian exclaimed, in the not too distant past, that Sainz is someone who has proved himself constantly at every stage of racing ever since graduating to the top annals of Grand Prix racing.
This year, he’s been battling his teammate Charles Leclerc hard for the top flight at Ferrari even as Charles has had the last laugh, though not where it comes to Monaco, particularly speaking. A race where local-hero and someone who’s yet to finish a proper F1 race in his career so far suffered once again from major heartbreak given his DNS (did not start), Carlos Sainz jr. kept up the hopes for the Scuderia stable in bagging a fighting P2.
Make no mistake- for it was teammate Leclerc on pole, not Sainz!
It was a valiant drive where Carlos pushed his SF 71 H to the limits in trying to trace Max Verstappen’s imperious Red Bull, that eventually became the first car to cross the checkered flag, thus giving the blazing Dutchman his second win of the season.
That being said, what exactly did the former F1 driver, who drove for teams like Ferrari have to say on the young and emerging Ferrari frontrunner?
Here’s what you ned to know:
I have held him in high regard since his first year in Formula 1,” Massa shared whole heartedly in a discussion with Sky Italia.
“He was always on the beat, even in his first year when he had to compete alongside Max Verstappen. Even then he did well compared to Max. We all know Max, is Max. Still, Sainz was able to fight with him then.”
He would further add that the driver who still idolises Fernando Alonso seems in a fine position to bag big results for the Ferrari stable that are keenly looking for a reversal in fortunes this year having experienced stern lows in 2020.
Massa added, “Sainz fits well in the team and he must now continue to dream of the best possible result.”
All of that said, with five races held and a massive lot of eighteen more to go, one of the most important and exciting questions where it comes to Ferrari is whether Sainz can supersede Leclerc as the top scorer for the Binotto-led outfit. The next race being the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will hopefully see an exciting battle between the two roaring young guns at Maranello. Surely, Leclerc would want to bounce back hard and improve from a non finish, rather non start at Monaco that saw the likes of Giovinazzi and Vettel consoling the heartbroken Monegasque.