Sainz reveals de Villota's influence, relation with Verstappen on F1 podcast
In the 20th episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast, Carlos Sainz speaks on his dad, McLaren future, days with Red Bull, relation with the late Maria de Villota plus Max Verstappen and more.
Sainz starts the podcast talking about his 2018 F1 season where he reckons the round in Spain was the turnaround he needed after which he could perform at a consistent level. He then talks about his future with McLaren.
He feels that it is an advantage to race with so many teams as he knows how to go about and extract the most from the team and the car - with McLaren being his third team after Toro Rosso and Renault.
The Spaniard has already visited to MTC and on the basis of that he thinks it is surprising that the team is ailing so much with all the facility it has. He adds on James Key joining the British team - although he doesn't give away the time he will be joining.
Taking back on his career, he talks about growing around Sainz Sr and how it has been an immense help to have a dad who races still even though in rally. The bond is still strong as he recollects about calling his dad all the time during Dakar 2018.
While crediting Fernando Alonso for his racing career, he holds high regards to the late de Villota who coached Sainz before he moved to the Red Bull programme. As a mark of respect, Sainz still carries the 'star' on his helmet for de Villota.
Her death affected Sainz personally more because of the attachment to her and the family. Apart from the star on Sainz's helmet, he also carries a sticker of 'chilly' which is the nickname given to him by his friends who initially called him 'Charlie'.
He also talks about schooling and how his father made sure he complete it rather than rush into racing. The conversation then moved to Helmut Marko and the whole Red Bull journey where he discussed Sebastian Vettel's humility.
At the time Sainz came into the programme, Vettel was already in his A-game - the Spaniard still gets the same warmth from the German whenever they catch up in the paddock. He also talks about his relation with Max Verstappen.
Sainz doesn't think Verstappen would block his Red Bull move - in fact, he reckons his fate was sealed when he moved out of Red Bull to compete for Renault this year. That set him aback in the priority list with Pierre Gasly then getting the nod.
He thinks had Verstappen blocked his move, it would make the team believe he is weak in a way that he cannot sustain in Sainz's presence. He adds that his relation with Verstappen is not that bad as it is said to be.
He admitted that he felt bad with Verstappen was chosen to move to Red Bull ahead of him even though he was at par if not better than the Dutchman at that stage. In fact, it was also strange for Sainz when he was named for Toro Rosso after Verstappen.
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]