Carlos Sainz says that the 2022 Formula 1 season saw him take on high volumes of information, which was only rivalled by his rookie campaign in 2015.
Sainz endured a difficult start to the 2022 season as he struggled to come to grips with Ferrari’s challenger amid the introduction of new technical regulations.
The Spaniard was often unable to compete with team-mate Charles Leclerc, who won two of the opening three races.
As the season wore on, Sainz was able to take steps forward and achieved his first pole position and grand prix victory at the British Grand Prix.
The 28-year-old endured his second season with Ferrari, seven years on from his maiden season with Toro Rosso in 2015.
“It’s been the year that I’ve learned the most since 2015,” Sainz said. “That was my first year in Formula 1.
“So then I had tougher and easier years but never such a challenging year as 2022 where I found myself in a position where I was driving with this car, I was constantly off the pace in the first five, six races.
“I had to fight a lot to change some things in my driving, some things on the car, try to get the car a bit closer to my liking but also, stop having some muscle memory on the way I drive and reset a bit the way I was driving, and it took a long time.
“But then, at the same time, as soon as it happened, I felt like I had done a big step forward as a driver in my skills, in my development, and I had learned a load.
“And this is probably the part of the season that I feel more proud of, because I think it would have been very easy with such a tough start to give up on the season and wait for another car to see if I was more competitive, but I didn’t give up on it.
“I kept pushing. And even in these last few races, I’m still trying different stuff. I’m still trying different ways to drive, different ways to set up the car and I could do in progress. So it leaves me optimistic about next year.”
Sainz signed a contract extension with Ferrari shortly after the start of the 2022 campaign, tying him to the Italian squad until the end of 2024.
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