Sainz will be treated like a 'demi-god' at Ferrari, says Gene

Carlos Sainz will drive for Ferrari from the 2021 F1 season after swapping McLaren to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel next year.

Carlos Sainz   -  Getty Images

Ferrari test driver Marc Gene said Carlos Sainz is yet to realise he will be treated like a "demi-god" at the iconic Formula One team.

Sainz will drive for Ferrari from the 2021 F1 season after swapping McLaren to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel next year.

The 25-year-old Spaniard, who will team up with Charles Leclerc, made his F1 debut in 2015 and finished an impressive sixth in the drivers' standings for a resurgent McLaren last year.

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Discussing the planned arrival of countryman Sainz, Gene told Marca: "I've spoken to him a few times and look, he's a McLaren driver and he still has another year in front of him.

"It seems to me that there are people who think that Carlos is going to Ferrari tomorrow.

"What surprises me about him is his intelligence, because he's extremely intelligent, and he has a vision and an ability to analyse things that you'd never say at 25 years of age.

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"He's living his dream because, every driver dreams of [being involved in] F1 when we grow up, but very few dream about signing for Ferrari and he told me that he's living his dream and I don't think he realises yet what he's going to experience when he wears that red suit, goes to Italy and starts to be treated like a demi-god."

"Firstly to be aware of the importance of Ferrari, of the magnitude of the team because any little remark that you make is going to have a much bigger repercussion," Gene said when asked what advice he would give Sainz.

"It's a bit like Real Madrid and Barcelona in football - everything goes further and he has to be very cautious all the time, something that Carlos already is.

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"You can't just make up any comments because, in Italy, they see it as an attack on Italy itself, so you have to be careful and have a peaceful private life and, if possible, keep a low profile."

Leclerc has been tipped to be Ferrari's lead driver for the foreseeable future, but Gene said: "Let there be no doubt that it's not like that, even though Leclerc is now in his third season and he's won races.

"I can assure you that Ferrari are going to give both the same attention and the same material because we have as much confidence in Carlos as Leclerc."

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