Ferrari test driver Marc Gene believes Carlos Sainz is the ideal signing for the Italian outfit because he possess everything they’re looking for in a driver and isn’t worried he’ll be treated like a number two.
Sainz will replace Sebastian Vettel next season in a move which will see him leave McLaren to join Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc, and Gene is certain he will be treated fairly.
“Let there be no doubt that it’s not like that,” Gene told Spain’s MARCA when asked if Sainz would be a number two. “Even though Leclerc is now in his third season and he’s won races, I can assure you that Ferrari are going to give both the same attention and the same equipment because we have as much confidence in Carlos as Leclerc.”
Asked why Ferrari went for the Spaniard over a proven race winner like Daniel Ricciardo, Gene explained: “His age. It’s very important that he’s young. His attitude, too. He’s very hard-working and disciplined, something that fits into Ferrari’s philosophy very well.
“What surprises me about him is his intelligence, because he’s extremely intelligent, and he has a vision and an ability to analyse things that you’d never say at 25 years of age.
“He’s also extremely efficient – I had my hands on my head when I saw how many points he won with McLaren last year. It was really spectacular.
“He doesn’t make mistakes, or not ones I remember, and he’s also very quick. If we look at the year he was [Max] Verstappen’s teammate, they were on pair in terms of speed, so he really has it all.”
Gene suggested the fact Sainz was signed almost a year in advance is proof of their confidence in him.
“In the 15 years I’ve been at Ferrari, no signing has been made this much in advance.”