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Button: Sainz 'the wrong person' if Ferrari wants number two driver

  • Published on 19 May 2020 09:25
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Jenson Button says Ferrari has employed the wrong driver in Carlos Sainz if it is banking on the Spaniard becoming a number two driver to Charles Leclerc in 2021.

Last week, Sainz was declared a soon-to-be Ferrari driver, following the announcement that Sebastian Vettel would leave the team at the end of the 2020 campaign.

Sainz, 25, picked up his first podium result at the penultimate round of the 2019 season in Brazil before capping off his most successful season to date in F1 by ending the drivers' championship in sixth place.

MOREBrown assures no harsh feelings with Sainz over McLaren departure

When asked by Sky F1 if he thinks Sainz can push Leclerc at Ferrari, Button said: “That's a really tricky one to answer. If Binotto has gone for Carlos because he thinks he's a good pair of hands but won't really give Charles a run for his money, I think he's mistaken.

“I think Carlos is a winner, he's like his father. He wants to go out there and do the best he can. He wants to bring home a championship. He's chosen the wrong person if he wants a good atmosphere within the team.

“Obviously, [there's] a great character in Carlos but he wants to win. We'll have to see how it plays out. It's just a really weird time at the moment.”

Button highlighted the strangeness of the situation in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the opening ten race called off.

The 2009 world champion pointed out that Vettel could have been enjoying his best season to date in F1 under normal circumstances, which would have changed the situation.

“We haven't seen a Formula 1 car on the track in months and to make driver choices at a point where drivers haven't been driving is really unusual. 

“Normally, it's mid-season. You see how the driver is performing that year and then you make your decision. Vettel could be four, five wins in at this point in time and I'm sure this season would be very different.”

'Sainz will feel new pressure at Ferrari'

Button acknowledged that there will major pressure on Sainz's shoulders when he arrives at Ferrari, and it will be a new element of the sport for him, different from the strains he currently feels at McLaren.

“The big thing about in Formula 1, it's not just about driver speed. Every driver in F1 has pretty good speed - it's the environment they're in,” Button said. 

“You look at Carlos in McLaren, he's felt it's a team that has really been around him and has given him a lot of confidence. You see that in the way he drives, his consistency, not making mistakes.

“When you suddenly move to a team like Ferrari, suddenly it's different. There's so much pressure on your shoulders from everyone. They're always 'team, team, team'. The drivers are very important there, but there are no individuals at Ferrari,

“It's a big team sport and you win for Ferrari. So it will be interesting to see how the atmosphere does change and how his driving changes in that really tricky situation.”

Replies (4)

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  • denis1304

    Posts: 284

    Thinking like this from Binotto, Wolff, Horner and rest, is one of the reasons why F1 is more boring then it should have been.... You have best 2 cars on the grid -> get 2 best drivers and no Bottas is not 2nd best

    • + 0
    • May 19 2020 - 10:14
  • Dert38

    Posts: 348

    Jens u r too old for this stuff (sarcasm, you just won't deliver anymore i don't know why). In our days they give fair conditions for both drivers. Just Leclerc will be faster that's it.

    • + 0
    • May 19 2020 - 12:16
  • Once an idiot, always an idiot, Jenson....
    AND a cunning British (who always play the game Divide and Conquer)...
    Bleah....

    • + 0
    • May 19 2020 - 13:56
  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 349

    IMO the main reason for changing Seb with Carlos is to find somebody who will push or fight with Charles but will keep it clean and won't bring this attitude which Seb did in Brazil; I just hate his maneuvers when he is pushing somebody else away from clean track; he did the same with Mark in Turkey, Lewis in Hungary 2015; I'm happy somebody told him no like Charles

    • + 0
    • May 20 2020 - 07:54

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