Ferrari Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz has reiterated that he has “full confidence” in the team’s ability to return to front-running contention in the wake of its dismal 2020 campaign.
Ferrari’s most recent race victory came in September 2019 as the team’s fortunes plummeted in 2020 amid a lack of performance from its aero-limited and power-shy SF1000.
Ferrari slumped to sixth in the standings, its lowest classification in 40 years, and mounted the podium just twice, courtesy of Charles Leclerc.
The outfit has recruited Sainz on a two-year deal, replacing Aston Martin-bound Sebastian Vettel, and this week the Spaniard completed his first mileage in its Formula 1 machinery.
Sainz amassed over 150 laps of Ferrari’s Fiorano facility aboard the 2018-spec SF71H, taking over from Leclerc, before handing across to Haas F1 rookie Mick Schumacher.
“Every single team goes through difficult moments at some point, it’s part of Formula 1,” said Sainz.
“What really matters is the ability to bounce back. History shows that teams that won in the past are capable of being competitive once again.
“Ferrari is the most successful team in the history of our sport and there is a reason behind that. If there is a team on the grid that can fight back to the top, it is Ferrari.
“I have full confidence in the project and, even though the process might take some time, I’m sure the team will eventually return to its winning ways.
“What you can be sure of is that I will give my absolute best to help shorten that process as much as possible.”
Schumacher is due to continue in the SF71H on Friday morning before test driver Callum Ilott rounds out the five-day test in the afternoon.