Sainz keen for 'last laugh' at Ferrari amid jokes over current form

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Carlos Sainz is keen to have the "last laugh" against those currently joking over his move to Ferrari next season.

The Spaniard was announced as Sebastian Vettel's replacement back in May, but has watched on with the rest of us as the Scuderia has endured its worst season in a decade in 2020.

But while some his current team McLaren and others are mocking his decision, Sainz is taking it all in his stride.

“I am taking it very easy going,” he said on Thursday at Portimao. “There are jokes here and there, jokes in social media, jokes everywhere, but I’m not worried, not taking it very seriously.

“Hopefully I am the one that has the last laugh next year. We will see.”

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As for his final season at McLaren, Sainz admits frustration at the errors and poor luck which has blighted three of his past five races.

“Well it’s annoying, you guys know how competitive I am and how I consider myself to be doing actually a decent year and a good year in F1 – if it wasn’t for the Russia mistake – I think I’m doing my best year in F1 to today and performing at a very high level,” he told MotorsportWeek.

“I feel I’m on top of my game and somehow you look at the standings and I’m 11th in the Championship.

“I know there’s a lot of things not going my way this year, it’s been a weird and very strange year for me.

“I’ve never had a chance to get the momentum and get consecutive results, in a short season, 17 races. It’s not over yet, there’s six races left, I’ll try and finish in a strong note.

“It is annoying yes, I find it particularly annoying, as I think I should have at least 30-40 points more than what I have.”

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If Sainz had got 30 points more he would be three points ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who instead sits fourth in the standings.

But asked if he could close the gap to the Australian between now and Abu Dhabi, the second-generation driver was realistic.

“I am a bit far away,” said Sainz. “[The gap is] a normal race win. Which for us when we are fighting for top sixes a race win is eight points so you could argue I am three races behind my direct competitors, two or three ‘race wins’ away from them.

“If you would say it’s equivalent to [Valtteri] Bottas being 50-75 points off Lewis [Hamilton]. Is he in the title fight? Will he be in the title fight being 50-75 points off? Maybe. But I have a very low, small chance.

“It doesn’t mean during the last races I don’t want to do well as I want to finish off on a high [with McLaren] and score a lot of points.”