F1: Sainz, Binotto say Ferrari not 2022 favorite

(GMM) Ferrari must not believe it is favorite to win the 2022 world championship, according to Carlos Sainz.

It’s advice that the Spanish driver’s boss Mattia Binotto doesn’t need to hear because he is keeping his feet firmly planted despite the impressive 1-2 finish in Bahrain last weekend.

The Italian has his eyes firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes.

“We cannot forget that they are the world champions, they are still the favorites,” Binotto is quoted by Kolner Express.

“We have to wait at least four or five races before we can talk about the world championship, but there’s even more potential in the car.”

It’s a message of quiet confidence that is coming from Sainz, too.

Carlos Sainz Jr. GP BAHRAIN F1/2022 – credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“We cannot exclude anyone,” the 27-year-old is quoted by Soy Motor.

“Mercedes is coming and Verstappen could have won in Bahrain. It will be a three-way fight. What we have to do is focus on improving the car because we know that Red Bull and Mercedes are going to do that soon.”

Some believe that while Ferrari’s current driver lineup is one of the most impressive in Formula 1, a true title battle could spice up relations between Sainz and current championship leader Charles Leclerc.

“If one of the drivers is fighting for the world title, it will be necessary to set preferences,” Sainz acknowledges.

“Ideally, we will both be at the top so that no other team can get in the way. But I want it to be me at the top.”

First, though, Sainz knows he has to work harder to get comfortable with his 2022 car.

“I have yet to find the settings that give me confidence in the car,” he admitted. “This is the first year that I feel like I’m really competing to win, and I’m going to really enjoy that.”

As for Binotto, he thinks Ferrari’s car development plans are well on track, even though Mercedes stunned the paddock with its ‘no sidepod’ solution.

“We also looked at that concept, but we opted instead for classic sidepods,” said the Italian.