The global health crisis has made it easier for Carlos Sainz to sign with Ferrari.
This raging river left by the coronavirus isn't helping anyone win anything. While lives are escaping, health workers are exposed and governments have not yet found the survival manual for the virus (because it never existed), the moment gives opportunities to some. Because life goes on, almost by inertia.
We were opening 2020 with Carlos Sainz winning a Dakar. In Atalayar, we were counting on the demanding work that the former world rally champion was doing at the age of almost 60. But life stopped for everyone. Someone turned off the switch and took everything away from us in one fell swoop. The sport also stopped in its tracks and Formula One watched as its circus had to fold the flags until further notice.
60 days ago everything had an explanation. Now we don't remember how many everyday matters remained. Who was leading the League, where Greta Thunberg was, what the future of Catalonia was going to be like or what Carlos Sainz Jr. was doing before the confinement.
The Madrid-born driver was preparing with McLaren for the Australian Grand Prix to be held from March 13-15 at Albert Park. He had just climbed his first podium in Brazil and was sixth with 96 points in the drivers' standings. The projection was already good at the beginning of the year.
As good as her first five years in Formula One. At first with Toro Rosso and then with Renault. She was gaining experience and there was hardly any pressure. The opposite way to Fernando Alonso, but through the same steering wheels as the Asturian driver. Alonso made Renault great, he showed that the pilot makes the car until someone decided to subtly alter the rules of the game to give more power to the machine.
Sainz worked quietly. Looking at himself in his father's mirror where he saw only work. He saw it in 1994 when he was born in Madrid while his father was "screwing up" in Scotland because of a bad order from Luis Moya who was giving the race to McRae and the World Cup to Auriol.
The pilot that the chronicles named in passing. Almost by way of grace for hearing the name of Carlos Sainz driving a Formula 1 car. But always on the track, with few retirements and few breakdowns. Without the media noise that Fernando Alonso was chasing and feeding. Waiting for an opportunity in a world where knowing how to drive is the least of our worries. Full of interests, sponsorships and clauses. We had to keep waiting.
And hopefully we've all known for two months. Wait until we get vaccinated with COVID-19. Wait for the new normal. Waiting to embrace, to say goodbye, to say hello... And waiting in Madrid, together with his parents, Carlos Sainz has had his reward. The goodbye of Vettel, the arrival of Leclerc, the next season and the doubts about whether the competition will return in July, have led the "cavallino rampante" to put his team in order.
Ferrari's offer to Sainz to drive his simulator is behind him. Now he's serious. They want the Spaniard to win. First to earn a place in front of another pilot with a lot of future like Charles Leclerc and, later, to conquer what Fernando Alonso and the Marquis de Portago could not do for the Italian team: win a Formula 1 World Championship.
Carlos Sainz had the talent and the ability. He just needed to be in the right place at the right time. That moment that comes without warning. Who knows if this would have happened with the competition racing around the world's circuits. With victories, defeats, retirements... who knows if the other conversations that Ferrari had with Bottas and Ricciardo had arrived to good port by the habitual internal tensions between pilots. The dominoes were falling precisely. One decision gave way to the next. The road cleared and there was Sainz, confined to his home. Living his new normality while Madrid waits for phase 1.