Carlos Sainz says that he understands what it feels like to have the weight of the name of a famous racing father follow his career.
The Spaniard empathises with Mick Schumacher, who has received a lot of media attention throughout his career, which arguably peaked in Bahrain, where he made both his Formula 2 race debut and his first Formula 1 test outing.
Sainz's father is a two time World Rally Championship winner, while Mick is the son of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher.
Sainz says that he learned to embrace the pressure that came with his name while admitting that it was difficult at times.
“When I was go-karting, especially, I just felt a lot of people were looking at me and my results and the way I was going," he said. "A lot of kids, racing drivers were just focusing a bit more on me because of being ‘the son of’.
“It’s something I ended up embracing and getting used to. Although at the time it was tough. I just tried to take the positives from it. Having a double world champion as a father it made me a better driver today.
“I think [Schumacher’s] getting a lot of attention these few last weeks because of the F1 test and that’s why I feel for him. But sometimes media attention is also not bad. I think he’s in a good place right now.”
Sainz added that he learned early on in his career that he must be more aggressive in order to win, which stemmed from the realisation that his rivals wanted to beat him because of his name.
"Kids sometimes are a bit mean. You want to beat that guy, I want to beat the son of Carlos Sainz more than any other one because maybe his father is watching or more people are watching. When I was a kid, definitely that was a thing that I didn’t like.
“Until my dad told me ‘either you fight or you get beaten’, when he told me that I realised I need to start fighting a bit more, if not I’m going to get beaten too often.
“Suddenly I started being a bit more aggressive and I started earning a bit more respect because I didn’t realise I was being a bit too nice, maybe, a bit too friendly with everyone, just wanting to get everyone’s approval. I started being a bit more aggressive and it was better, definitely.”
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