July 23, 2024

Colleagues in Formula One have praised Carlos Sainz following his victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris has responded to those who think Carlos Sainz is “underrated” in Formula One, stating that everyone who knows the Ferrari star thinks highly of him. After having his appendix surgically removed, Sainz miraculously recovered to win the Australian Grand Prix the previous weekend.

Following the procedure, Sainz was unable to compete in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two weeks prior. Before going back to Australia to resume his Ferrari seat, he spent the following ten days recuperating.

At first, the Spaniard tried to control expectations regarding his involvement in the race by stating that he would assess his feelings during training. However, he went on to win the race on Sunday under amazing circumstances, defeating Max Verstappen’s withdrawal, teammate Charles Leclerc, and McLaren duo Norriss and Oscar Piastri.

Since then, there has been discussion about who the most underappreciated Formula One driver is, with many fans and commentators ranking Sainz—who will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton in 2019—at the top of the list. However, Norris, who spent two seasons racing with Sainz at McLaren, calls anyone who believes the 29-year-old is underappreciated “silly.”

Norris asserted, “There’s no reason anyone should think he’s underrated.” “I believe that those who are familiar with him are aware of his abilities, his level of effort, and his commitment to being among the best—all of which he has demonstrated both today and over the past few weeks.

“You have a lot of drivers, I’m sure, who probably wouldn’t have put in as much effort, or spent as much time and energy, trying to heal and get back into the race car. That, in my opinion, is only one instance of it.

“Those who are aware of his abilities, however, would never consider him to be underappreciated. Naturally, outcomes are always a bit of a selling point, and outsiders are quick to draw conclusions based only on what they see on television. However, after working with him and understanding his potential, things gel quite nicely, and he puts on performances like the one he does this weekend.

And he has, in my opinion, shown himself to be an improvement over last year throughout the entire season. Yes, underestimating him is foolish.

Leclerc, Sainz’s Ferrari coworker, concurred with Norris. “I think everyone knows Carlos’s worth in the paddock,” he continued. Among the best drivers in the paddock, he has proven to be incredibly strong each and every time he has driven a Formula 1 car.

And he has demonstrated it several times. He isn’t underappreciated in my opinion for that.

Hamilton is prepared to take over Sainz’s Ferrari seat at the beginning of 2025, so his future is still up in the air. The opinions of those in the paddock seem to indicate that the three-time race winner will have no shortage of choices.

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