“Since I was 10 years old, my target was to be the next Spanish Formula 1 driver, after Fernando Alonso and Pedro De La Rosa” – says Carlos Sainz Jr, the 25 year old Spanish driver of the McLaren team, interviewed together with his father and manager Carlos Sainz Sr.

A friendly talk with the two champions, father and son, led by Mark Norris, Race Operations Director in McLaren: from one side Carlos Sainz Sr, called “El Matador”, two-time rally world champion and three-times winner the Dakar, from the other side Carlos Jr, the Formula 1 rising star.

Both accepted the invitation from Sparco, always at the side of the two drivers as technical partner also following the McLaren team for 23 years, to talk about themselves in a video-interview during the lockdown period, sharing memories, stories and technical advices.

The young driver reveals that his passion for Formula 1 was born together with his passion for cars, having experienced this since he was two years old. At the age of five Sainz Jr started racing karts, and this marked his official debut in the world of racing. When he was nine years old, during a Grand Prix, he definitively felt in love with Formula 1: in one year he developed the will to become one of the best Spanish driver after Alonso and De La Rosa.

Sainz Jr tells the time spent with McLaren team: “we achieved a lot of success in 2019, probably my best year of my career in Formula 1”. despite the strong responsibility of taking Alonso’s place, he says he felt at home, thanks to the positive work environment and to the good relationship with Lando Norris.

From his side, Sainz Sr as a father is very proud of his son choosing such a difficult path as the Formula 1: “If he had decided the road of rally, I could have helped him more. […] Now I try to help him whenever, I can but he is already 25, he knows what he has to do. I’m going to follow him like a fan, maybe like a little bit special fan”.

The young Sainz also talks about the relation between Sparco and McLaren, being Sparco supplier of racing cutting-edge equipment for over twenty years. Sparco has the same relationship with Sainz Junior who is racing during the last 15 years with Sparco gloves. In fact the young driver defines Sparco with the words “history and development”, while his father, wearing Sparco since the Nineties, enhances “quality and passion”.

Sainz Sr has made the history of rally and raced with some of the most important champions and driver in the world. He is pleased to have taken part of that golden age: it was the time of the Martini Racing iconic colours, to which Sparco recently dedicated a new heritage collection, with its exceptional testimonial, the driver and champion Miki Biasion. At that time, when Sainz used to race with historical champions such as Juha Kankkunen, Didier Auriol and most of all his best friend Colin McRae, was called “El Matador”, a nickname referring to his Spanish origins. Among his favourite cars, the Toyota Celica with which won two championships, the Subaru, the Ford Focus and the Ford Escort.

Sainz Sr talks about Dakar, that he won three times, about vehicles, races, preparation, technical and physical trials. He always keeps in mind that, even with the co-driver help, “you drive blind”. Unlike the Formula 1, where the precision is fundamental and where you have to know by heart the circuit, rally is more improvisation. But he concludes “despite the differences, the philosophy is the same”.

Talking about the relationship father and son, both admit to be still very competitive one another. As time passes by it is getting harder to stand up to his son (“In circuits he is better than me”), but there are still a couple of sports in which Sainz Sr can beat him, golf and squash (he was a champion). Sainz Jr admits that it is not easy to approach his father’s level. About challenging him at Dakar he says: “Now I am very focused on Formula 1, maybe later on…”

The video interview is available at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14d0qbryMF0  

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