SportF1'Sainz is not Massa', by Manu Franco

'Sainz is not Massa', by Manu Franco

We had just finished lunch shift at the restaurant and I was with one of the cooks watching the grand prize. Suddenly he got up from his chair, banged on the table and screamed. “If it’s fucking Massa, damn it, it’s Massa,” my friend said as he looked at the screen where Carlos Sainz had had to let Charles Leclerc pass at Silverstone.

“But what do you say?” someone asked as he left a crystal glass like a whistle. “No, no, it will never be Schumacher, nor Alonso, it’s Barrichello or Massa,” he kept shouting. He is young, more Carlist than Alonso, one of those who is fed up with being reminded of the moments lived with the Asturian genius and who dreams of seeing the Madrilenian world champion one day.

Don’t worry, I told him, there’s a long way to go, although I must admit that I also felt a pang in my heart when I saw that image, but… I’ve been clear for a long time that, despite what many think or want to believe, Sainz is not a second driver, he’s a champion.

It may not be this year, but it will be. He has already won his first race. He has had to wait for 150 grand prizes, yes. It hasn’t been easy, he hasn’t had it easy, despite his father’s immense shadow of light. But it had to be at Silverstone, the circuit to which he owes his place in F1.
He tried the Red Bull champion, the beauty of Newey that Vettel led to glory and left the famous doctor Marko with his eyes blank when he saw that the records of the Madrilenian were, at the end of the day, in the same tenth as the four-time world champion. From there, an opportunity with Toro Rosso, with a beast like Verstappen at his side, the one chosen by Red Bull to mark an era. He has been the teammate who has been able to look the Dutchman in the eyes more and better. Then Renault dazzling in his first race in Austin and later McLaren where he could with Norris, an Englishman who now has his head down at the always smiling Ricciardo, one of the stars who shone the most at the time among those who know. He arrived at Ferrari, that is no longer easy and in his first year he beat Leclerc, who is called to the top in the Scuderia . Now, in his second season and at last with a champion car, it was costing him, but he has arrived.

And he showed that it is not just work, not even just talent, or that bit of luck that the Sainzs have (luck yes, luck, is there greater than having health, a united family and that they love you, love and success in a work you love?), not only that, you also have to have personality. Stop. We have gone from faster than you to stop inventing. And there the difference. Here we stop. The way he responded to the wall of the most legendary team ever, the way he shot into the lead against a Leclerc they had tried to protect after the strategy error, the way he took pole in the wet and won the England’s race, it’s only for the greats. Many things will happen, but Sainz has already shown that he is a champion. And that moment, and those that will come, no one takes away. Congratulations family. To the rest… calm down.

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