Formula 1 top manager Stefano Domenicali says Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz must ‘keep calm’ and avoid falling into ‘psychological difficulties’ that could arise after his tough start to the 2022 season.
The Spaniard is driving one of the two fastest cars on the net at the start of the campaign, but has followed up on two podium places at the Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix with retirements in Australia and Imola, which has seen him fall in the order of the drivers’ position.
Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc has meanwhile won two races and has an impressive lead of 27 points at the top of the championship.
In Australia, Sainz struggled in qualifying and then spun into the gravel on the initial lap, unable to regain the car. At Imola last weekend, he crashed under humid conditions in qualifying before ending up in the gravel trap again on the opening lap after being knocked off the field by a stray Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari recently renewed Sainz’s deal with the team until the end of the 2024 season, but he may face the prospect of being asked to play a supporting role in Leclerc’s title challenge if his results do not improve quickly.
Former Scuderia team manager Domenicali believes the 27-year-old’s focus should be on making sure he does not get nervous about his form while trying to score more points.
“These are episodes that need to be handled psychologically, he just needs to stay calm and he will definitely achieve excellent results,” Domenicali told Italian TV channel Rai 2.
‘Carlos Sainz is a very talented driver, unfortunately Ricciardo touched him on a slippery track. But these are episodes that, if you do not handle them well, you will get into mental difficulties that you should not face. He has renewed his contract with his team for another two years, so the guarantees are there, he just needs to stay calm and he will definitely do well. ‘
After two seasons spent fighting in midfield, Ferrari are once again frontrunners in Formula 1 after designing a car that is among the fastest and most reliable in the field.
The fifth round of the 2022 F1 season takes place in Florida, with the inaugural Miami Grand Prix set for the weekend of 6-8. May.
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