SportF1'Carlos, the one with the long steps', by Josep...

'Carlos, the one with the long steps', by Josep Lluis Merlos

There were high hopes pinned on Pedro Acosta and Jorge Martín for this season. It was expected that the ” Shark of Mazarrón ” would sweep in its debut in Moto2 after doing it in Moto3 the previous season. And from Madrid it was not only believed that he was going to be the top contender for a Ducati of the official team for 2023, but even a clear candidate for the MotoGP title this year.

After seven races, the Murcian is seventeenth in the provisional classification, with only 20 points, and Jorge is fifteenth, with just 28 points. The one from Pramac has only scored points in two races, and the one from Team Ajo has the last four with a blank box.

Some say that the blame for this lies in “the pressure” that the press has exerted on them throughout the winter. Of course; that and the death of Manolete, we already know that they are always the fault of the journalists, who are also responsible for the plague of butterflies that this spring eat the leaves of the geraniums. It’s all the fault of the press and its perfidious intentions. Always. There are those who say that the same thing can happen with Carlos Sainz.

Last week the Spanish F1 GP was presented in the so-called Plaça dels Somnis , in the heart of the Tibidabo Amusement Park. And there were many who verbalized their dream for the Montmeló race: that the Spanish Ferrari driver get his first pole here and his first victory in F1.

Seen what has been seen, to yearn for that is more than legitimate and reasonable. Ferrari dominated the pre-season tests that were carried out on the Catalan track, they lead the constructors’ championship, Charles Leclerc has won two of the five races held, and between their two drivers they add up to seven out of ten possible podium finishes.

But Max Verstappen -who loves the Circuit (he won his first victory here, in 2016)- has won the other three races in a season in which, for the moment, he either climbs to the top of the podium… or he doesn’t score.

The Circuit de Barcelona has a very long straight (1,047 metres), and two DRS zones , and Red Bull has shown a devilish top speed in recent races. And furthermore, the car from Milton Keynes seems to have less difficulty with tire degradation -because of its ability to generate a lot of downforce- than the one from Maranello , a crucial factor on a track with very abrasive asphalt, although are going to use the hardest compounds of the available range. Factors that do not play in favor of Sainz, precisely.

Carlos has always been characterized by taking very long steps in his progress. Slow, but constant. It has not been of great explosive results, nor of a striking proceeding. His work is like that of those footballers who do not make goals their vital meaning, but are capable of generating a deaf game, of working without the ball, for the collective good of the team, as good coaches appreciate so much.

The Circuit, this weekend, could be for Sainz the great theater of dreams, the infinite stadium where he can make more than a few long steps come true, a forceful shot towards the bottom of the grid. The final takeoff. And don’t talk to him about pressure, since he already puts it on and gets rid of it all by himself.

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