Back in May, Charles Leclerc Niki Lauda’s 1974 Formula 1 car crash but emerge unscathed. However, Leclerc’s current teammate Carlos Sainz said this week that he may not be OK taking the same risk.
Leclerc’s crash happened in the historic Monaco Grand Prix, an annual event that takes place a few weeks before the Monaco Grand Prix. Leclerc was there to represent Ferrari, in an opportunity that I think current Formula 1 drivers constantly have to offer: Come out Racer and see if you can control this Legendary Car from a few decades ago, because it would be nice to be able to say that a Racer drove your car once. Or at least Ferrari’s marketing would really appreciate it.
One problem you can surmise from a driver’s perspective, however, is that safety standards are different decades ago, and that could give the aforementioned Racer a pause, or at least should do so. According to Racing Man Carlos Sainz, it certainly is. In the comments picked up by Formula1.com:
“I had a chance to [test an old Ferrari] in the past,” Sainz said. “It always gives you a vision of how the sport has been for so long. I’m having two thoughts with it because why would you risk it? Like, why? You have a chance to win the Ferrari championship. Why do you risk getting into this situation like it happened to him? [Leclerc]?
One might say you don’t really have to take risks if you take things nice and slow and easy, but Sainz is a Racer, and that’s not an option.
“But at the same time, when will you get a chance to drive these cars? So every time I jump in a classic Formula 1 car, I always have these things in mind. And if I’m jumping in a car, I push it. I don’t know how to jump in a car and put my elbows out and drive around. I have no idea how to do this.”
He continued: “I can just jump in and feel it and feel how these cars feel, so every time I want to jump in, I push the car. And these things can happen.”
You might say that Leclerc is only 24 years old and still operating under the delusions of youth, but Sainz is 27 and is talking here like someone much older, like someone who very much knows themselves, and what they are capable of.
And this issue also isn’t just about F1 drivers hopping into old racecars, it applies to you, too, if you’ve ever had dreams of driving a classic, or even daily driving one. A slow spin around a closed course or parking lot will always be just fine for that, though I’m old enough now to fear much more, for many reasons, though mainly: airbags and crumple zones.