DUBAI, 6 December 2021 – Spanish racing driver Carlos Sainz, who competes in Formula 1 for Scuderia Ferrari, toured Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday, ahead of the 72nd running of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place from 9–12 December.
Sainz spoke about his hopes for the end of the season and praised his nation’s participation at the Expo.
Have you enjoyed visiting the Spain Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai?
As a Spaniard, it makes me feel very proud – I’m impressed by the whole set-up. I don’t spend enough time in Spain because of the travelling and I live in Italy so this has been a good opportunity to be reminded of my country and all the cool places it has.
Obviously, Formula 1 is at the cutting edge of innovation – what innovations currently being used in F1 do you think have the biggest potential to be used in the wider world?
We have the most efficient hybrid power units in the world – the effort made by all the teams and all the engine manufacturers to create such a sustainable engine is impressive. Next year, we’re going 10 per cent ethanol on fuel, which will make it a lot more sustainable too. Formula 1 tends to be a pioneer when it comes to hybrid technology for road car innovation. Formula 1 aims to be the first to try new things that are then applied on the road, which they’ve already proven, so I’m pretty sure that whatever direction we go in will lead to the future.
Formula 1 has also made huge strides in recent years in sustainability – a key message at the Expo– do you think it is setting a standard for the car industry and the wider world?
By 2030, F1 should have a net-zero carbon footprint – it’s an aggressive plan, but I’m sure that we can make it happen. We all feel that will make the industry a lot more sustainable.
You’re in the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – what are your hopes for the race?
I hope I can finish the season on a high – hopefully a good top five, maybe even a podium [finish]. Things start to unravel at the front but I’ve been feeling really comfortable these last few races and I cannot wait to complete the last race on a high.
The Middle East has become a huge draw for F1, with four races in the Gulf now – what is it that makes this region so great for F1? And what progress have you seen during your time racing here?
I think there’s been a lot of progress. I love racing here – I always love the atmosphere of modern cities. People tend to get more and more engaged every year that we come back, plus it’s always good to enjoy the nice weather when coming from cold Europe. The race in Abu Dhabi is always exciting, and hopefully, with the new track and new layout, it will be even more exciting.
How would you assess this season with Ferrari, going into the final race?
It has been a positive first year at Ferrari for me. I had a huge challenge to be quick and bring points and progress for the team without any winter testing before jumping into a new car – I think I managed to achieve that. I had a few podiums and quite a lot of point finishes. I think I can finish the season on a high and I feel ready for whatever comes in 2022