Carlos Sainz Jr. says he has come to realise just how difficult it is to see family members racing and putting themselves at risk after seeing his father race and win the Dakar Rally last weekend.

Rally legend Carlos Sainz Sr. scored his second Dakar win on Saturday after negotiating the 13 gruelling stages of the rally, marking his first success in the event since 2010.

A Formula 1 racer since 2015, Sainz Jr. made his pride and admiration for his father evident via social media at the end of the rally, and penned an open letter on Media Racing.net in which he spoke about the family fear of seeing a relative race.

"These two intense weeks have helped me to understand a bit how you feel when I'm racing, and I've honestly realized how bad it must be," Sainz wrote.

"It's better to be on the other side of the barrier! You can not imagine the nerves that mother, Blanca and Anita have gone through. It has been very intense.

"A couple of hours after I've seen you win and celebrate this Dakar win, I want to tell you how important and impressive it has been for me to see how you have worked so hard through your 55 years and to continue having the desire, excitement and motivation to face a challenge as big as it is to win your second Dakar.

"I could tell a thousand anecdotes, but right now I remember when I got up to train at 7:30am to get on the bike in the sauna, and you had been there for one hour already, or at other times when we were both answering emails in the office and I caught you designing the smallest detail, the drawing of the Michelin wheels that you were going to wear on the Dakar.

"These things - although at the time I laughed - I want you to know that they are the best example of sacrifice and desire to win that both me and my sisters use to apply to everything in life."

Sainz Jr. will return to racing action at the start of the new F1 season in Australia on March 25.

 

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