Sainz out to enjoy Ferrari's home race despite pressure and frenzy


Carlos Sainz says he'll head into Ferrari's home race at Monza next weekend determined to enjoy the special event despite the frenzy and pressure it inevitably brings.

Sainz will experience F1's Temple of Speed and its traditional red cauldron atmosphere for the second time as a Ferrari driver, but also as a competitor in search of a big result after a disappointing weekend at Zandvoort.

Sainz qualified third in the Netherlands behind Max Verstappen and Ferrari's teammate Charles Leclerc.

But from the outset, the Spaniard lacked the pace to battle at the front while a disastrous pitstop by his team and a five-second penalty for an unsafe release added insult to injury and left him a lowly P8 at the checkered flag.

However, the final leg of F1's current triple header bears a few challenges of its own for anyone saddling a prancing horse at Monza, with media solicitations and fan pressure at a peak.

But Sainz says he'll take the frenzy and mania in his stride and enjoy his weekend, come rain or shine.

"Thank God I've been following Formula 1 for 15 years, and I've been educated by seeing it and seeing how it works so I'm totally fine with it, and that's why maybe I'm so chilled after a race when something big happens because I know it's coming and I'm trying to keep it low key," commented Sainz when asked about Monza's craze and madness.

"But yeah, Monza is going to be an incredible weekend. Having everyone there, full crowd, fighting with a competitive Ferrari, I think it's the best possible scenario that you can have as a racing driver, no?

"And I'm keen to enjoy my target that we can use especially to enjoy it and because there's always so much to do – there's always extra media, extra things, extra events, extra pressure – that sometimes maybe they don't allow you to open your eyes and see this is actually happening.

"I'm racing for Ferrari in Monza in a competitive car and then you appreciate it a lot more and you enjoy it a lot more and this will be my target.

"And then let's see how the weekend goes, how the car performs, etcetera… But I'm going to go a bit more with that approach."

Monza's high speed, low downforce layout offers a few common points with Spa, where Red Bull's RB18 trounced its rivals recently in the expert hands of championship leader Max Verstappen.

Does Sainz fear another commanding performance by the bulls and Verstappen in particular at Monza?

"A bit, yeah, I'm not going to lie," he admitted. "After Spa, if there's a track similar to Spa with similar configurations it’s Monza, no?

"And we know they are going to be strong there, it’s another track that should suit them, but this doesn't mean that we can't react from Spa and at least make their life a bit more difficult around Monza.

"You know wins can still happen in different ways. You might not be the fastest but you might find a way to make it around and win so we're going to give it our best shot."

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