Midfield drivers won't wait forever for change - Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Jr. believes Formula 1’s midfield drivers won’t wait forever for the sport to change, amid hope of new regulations leading to an overhaul in 2021.
Only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won races since Lotus’ triumph in the 2013 season-opener, while Sergio Perez’s Baku 2018 podium is the sole top three finish by a midfielder in the last two years.
Sainz Jr., who has started 88 races, has not taken a podium finish and is Formula 1’s current lead midfield driver in the standings, despite failing to classify higher than sixth this season.
“You see fellow drivers like Marcus [Ericsson] going to different series and immediately being on the pace and potentially winning races or being on the podium,” said Sainz Jr.
“Then you see yourself in Formula 1 and you’re stuck in P7… it’s something I haven’t got bored of as it’s only my fifth season but you think about Perez, [Nico] Hulkenberg, they’ve been here for many races and it’s something I struggle to feel is sustainable.
“It needs immediate change and it needs immediate refining in Formula 1 to change that trend.
“It’s not something that as racing drivers in the midfield we are going to be waiting here forever just finishing P7 in every race.
“I think it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed and hopefully 2021 they will make it happen.”
Sainz Jr. also reckons that Formula 1 could learn from other series, pointing to the regulations – such as concessions – introduced in MotoGP, that have helped close the field in recent years.
“I know very well [Dorna Sports CEO] Carmelo Ezpeleta in MotoGP, I’ve spoken to him many times about what he’s done and how the manufacturers reacted to them tightening the rules with ECU, etc,” explained Sainz Jr.
“I think the main feedback is they were firstly sceptical obviously but now they are more happy than ever as they are fighting against more people and it makes the brand stronger, as they’re fighting against more brands, so Honda and [Marc] Marquez are even more happy.
“It’s a very good example and it’s something that I would like to see in the future in Formula 1.
“But I think Formula 1 is a different specie definitely, but I hope in the future we converse towards something a bit more driver dependent and not machine dependent.”