Sainz reveals COVID-19 health fears as Formula 1 season gets set to start

Amanda Davies talking to McLaren driver Carlos Sainz.
Amanda Davies talking to McLaren driver Carlos Sainz.

In an interview with CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies, McLaren driver Carlos Sainz has revealed his health fears about the sport returning amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on Instagram Live, Sainz tells CNN “it would be a horrible feeling” if he was unable to race due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Sainz also discussed Formula 1’s efforts to address diversity in the sport. When asked whether the drivers were considering taking a knee ahead of the first race of the season, Sainz admitted that they were "thinking about it."

Having signed a contract with Ferrari during lockdown, Sainz speaks to Davies about whether he was surprised by the move and whether he’ll be speaking to his compatriot Fernando Alonso on what to expect from the Maranello-based team. The Excerpts:

Sainz on the possibility of contracting Covid-19 during the restart:

“After four months, it would be a horrible feeling and something that I want to take care of not happening. You might as well get it from pure bad luck and you can't do anything against it, you just have to skip a couple of races because of that. But the worst part of it would be to feel perfect, feel like you feel now, have Covid-19 in your system or in your blood, and not being able to race.”

Sainz on racing without fans:

“Those moments when you're doing the drivers parade when you see the full grandstand, those moments when you go into a track and you see everything full of fans supporting you, shouting out your name, it fills you with energy and good vibes. Not having that is going to be sad and for sure different. There's not going to be a lack of motivation. Motivation will be extremely high and we're going to be ready.”

Sainz on whether he’s discussed racism with Lewis Hamilton:

“Nope, never. I actually have never spoken to anyone about racism, because I’ve never seen racism in first person... That doesn't mean racism doesn't exist in the world. So, I acknowledge that, I admit it might exist even though I haven't seen it and I want to make a difference, inform myself and see what we can do to improve the situation.”

Sainz on whether drivers were considering taking the knee:

“We need to see. At the moment it’s being discussed in the GPDA (The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association). The GPDA is going to take a stance against racism, I can assure you of that. We’re going to do something, and we want to create our initiatives.”

Sainz on whether he expected his upcoming Ferrari move:

“No. Maybe I thought there was a chance, but you never think that it’s going to happen. You focus on the person and not potential scenarios, so to now be part of Ferrari makes me incredibly proud because especially during such a strange crisis like we had, being able to sign a contract for Ferrari was not the first thing that came to my mind... Everything happened so quickly and moved so quickly, I’m honestly very happy with how everything developed.”

Sainz on whether he’ll look for advice from Fernando Alonso:

“I will ask him about the team, about what he felt and all that, but I will also do what I do normally... I have a great relationship with Fernando, I think he’s having fun now. I don’t know whether he will do the Dakar [Rally] again or he’ll move back to Formula 1 or anything else.” — CNN Sport