New Ferrari recruit Carlos Sainz admits he is heading into this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix not yet feeling completely comfortable with the team’s SF21 Formula 1 car. 

Having switched from McLaren over the winter to join the Maranello squad, the Spaniard only had the equivalent of a day and a half behind the wheel of Ferrari’s 2021 car before the start of the new campaign. 

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s opening round in Sakhir, Sainz conceded he is left rueing the lack of mileage he was able to complete in his bid to get up to speed as swiftly as possible.

Asked whether he feels totally ready for his first race with Ferrari, Sainz replied: “Probably not. 

“From the opportunities available, I think we've done actually a really good job over the winter to get here as... prepared as I can be. I've done a lot of simulator, the three days we did here, we ran smoothly. 

“I wish I had more mileage in the car, I wish winter testing would have been a bit longer than what it was, but all things considered, I feel like I'm ready to give it a go.”

Ferrari marks the fourth team - after Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren - that Sainz has driven for during his seven-season-spell in F1, and the 26-year-old is hoping his past experiences of swapping teams can help him speed up his adaption process. 

“I think it does help, obviously, having that experience of changing teams so often,” he explained. “What I'm obviously sure is that in race one, you're never as ready as you are in a second or third year of experience with a car or with a team.

“But at the same time, if the feeling with the car is good and with the team is very good, you can still perform at a very high level. It's very difficult to know exactly how long it will take any driver [to get comfortable]; there's been teams that it took me one or two races, other teams where it took me definitely longer than that. 

“Difficult to tell, and until I do the first few races, I will not be able to really tell when I am getting closer to the limit of the car.”

 

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