Carlos Sainz says understanding Ferrari’s reasons for signing him left him assured that he wasn’t merely recruited off the back of his strong Formula 1 displays in 2019.
Sainz finished last year as Formula 1’s best midfield performer, returning McLaren to the podium positions, classifying sixth overall in the standings.
Ferrari announced in May that it was not going to retain Sebastian Vettel beyond 2020 and instead signed Sainz to a two-year deal.
Sainz says he was encouraged that Ferrari looked beyond his strong 2019 campaign and undertook a deeper analysis into his potential.
“For sure it  helped, everything helps, but from what I know at Ferrari there were a lot of other factors for signing me than 2019 [results],” he told select media including MotorsportWeek.com.
“Many people talk about the Brazil podium or the P6 in the championship but when I got to know the analysis that the big teams do about the driving performance of everyone you realise how much into detail they go and they don’t look only for the big number.
“That made me feel a bit relieved as the career of a Formula 1 driver is very tricky.
“If it could be like a tennis player or a 100-metre sprinter where you only depend on yourself for performance it would be a lot easier to judge a Formula 1 driver.
“But we have a lot of other factors than our performance and more variables than any other sport.
“At least what I saw from Ferrari, they try and take those variables out of the way to try and isolate the driver’s performance.
“It’s something that kind of made me feel a bit relieved to see teams are looking into the detail and the big picture, not only about the result, P6 in the championship or the podium in Brazil, they are looking for a lot more things.”
Ferrari will be Sainz’s fourth different team in Formula 1, having driven for Toro Rosso and Renault prior to his current spell at McLaren.