Jan 15, 2016

Sainz shares his best and worst memories at El Hormiguero 3.0 TV show

A night full of questions, racing and desires for 2016

Carlos Sainz attended yesterday El Hormiguero 3.0, a famous Spanish TV show conducted and presented by Pablo Motos, where he remembered some of the funniest stories after having completed his first year inside the Formula 1 paddock. It was the most watched television show during the whole day, reaching a golden minute of 4.456.000 viewers and 21,8% of share screen.

Before starting the interview, which was broadcasted on prime time, Carlos gave Pablo Motos one of his homologated fireproof overalls. That moment served to start the questions, as Motos wanted to know how fireproof overalls are designed. 

"Before we start, here is a little gift so you can go karting and show off a little bit", Carlos said. "It is completely fire resistant. It takes some seconds to burn and can save your life. You also wear another fireproof layer of clothing inside, similar to the one used for skiing. It depends on the race, but it usually gets really hot. Generally, races are held during spring or summer time in every country. For me, Singapore was without doubt the hottest one this year. Temperatures were above 30 degrees but humidity was 90% -as if it was raining-, and we were racing at night between buildings. Between 60 and 70 degrees were measured inside the racing overalls”.

As for the preparation for the race at Marina Bay, considered by many as the toughest one in the F1 calendar, Carlos confessed he was overhydrated and suffered the consequences later on during the race. “Everyone was really scared about the fact that it was the toughest race of the year, and I drank too much water. During the Safety Car periods, I was constantly thinking that I needed to pee. I spent the whole race looking at the laps remaining before I could go to the toilet”, Carlos laughed.

Asked about his performance in 2015, Carlos analyzed his first season in Formula 1. “I think it was good. It was a very good first year and I managed to leave a good print in Formula 1. We did some very strong qualifying sessions, strong races, and especially strong recoveries. We had too many mechanical failures; I was forced to retire seven times when I was in the points in six of them, so we could've scored much more points and finish in a better position in the Championship, but that's the sport”, he pointed out.

Pablo Motos asked Carlos about his feelings on his dad’s retirement during the Rally Dakar after suffering a gearbox failure during the tenth day of competition when he was leading the race. “He warned one year ago that if something could fail, it was that (the gearbox system). He had the misfortune that it happened. He was about to win the Dakar being 53 years old and had a failure, but fortunately it was just that. He has already won enough titles and got enough public recognition; nothing happens if this year was not possible”.

Sainz revealed he was his father's advisor when the 53-year old driver was behind the wheel, and thinks there are many similarities between both of them when expressing their feelings, especially after having listened to the lessons taught by the former double World Rally Champion for many years.

“I used to call him two or three times every day. I think I was as annoying as he is with me. I am starting to get used to giving him some advice because, at the end of the day, he has told me so many things that I said: 'now, as an F1 driver, I will tell him something too”. When he listens to me, he listens to himself because I use the same expressions and words I have been listening from him during the last ten years. Now I tell him the same, but he accepts it! He gets serious and says: “Well, you are right”. When I hang up, I tell my mum everything and we have a good laugh together”, he said.

Carlos went over his best moments of the 2015 season, among which he highlighted the Spanish Grand Prix in front of his home crow after scoring his best result in a qualifying session –he was fifth on the grid, n.f.t.e- and his heavy crash in Russia.

As for the impact in Sochi, the driver explained how he felt inside the cockpit. “It took 17 and a half minutes until I was taken out from the car. On the largest straight line of the circuit, I was asked to test an experimental breaking map. I reached about 330km/h, lost the back of the car just after hitting the brakes and crashed into the first wall at 270km/h, approximately. But nothing happened there: the problem was that the suspensions were broken, so the steering and the breaking system did not work and just hit the wall at 270km/h. Without breaking, I managed to reduce the speed to 200km/h and then came the heavy crash. During the two second-period from the first to the second impact, when I was hitting the brakes and nothing happened, I said: ‘it is all over’. You assume the worst and I think these were the two worst seconds in my life. After the impact, I got out of breath during some seconds, but I realized I was conscious. Then I touched myself, felt I was right and knew that nothing serious had happened. I was stuck behind the barriers because they hadn’t worked properly, and told (the marshalls) to take their time to remove them. During those 17 minutes I was thinking about my dad, my sisters, my mum… everyone had watched the accident and they did not know if something had happened to me. Then I got a little bit overwhelmed”. The happy ending was to see Carlos taking part in the Grand Prix, where he almost managed to score points until one of the many mechanical failures he has been suffering during the year prevented him from seeing the chequered flag.

Click here to see the full program:  El Hormiguero 3

Another curious story Carlos shared with the audience was his lost cap in Barcelona. It was his good luck charm since 2014, when he clinched the World Series by Renault Title before promoting to Formula 1. However, during the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso threw the cap to the fans without knowing anything about its sentimental value for Carlos. Fortunately, the cap went back to the Spanish driver’s head.

“My passport into Formula 1 was to win the World Series Champions, and I used a very cool-grey Red Bull cap during the whole year which I could not get rid of. I was always wearing that cap. Suddenly, in the Spanish Grand Prix, the Spanish drivers were greeting the fans and Fernando suddenly took the cap and threw it (to the fans). I stared at him and said: ‘Do you know what you have just done?’. And he answered: ‘Well, it’s just a cap, you should have many of them’. And I said: ‘No! There is just one!’. But we managed to get it back and in Monaco I was wearing it again”.

Once they were done with the interview, Carlos went through a visual accuracy test with the ants Trancas and Barrancas, two prominent characters of the show. He had to guess the identity of a person whose face was moving at full speed on a virtual roulette. After that, he took part in a funny obstacle race with Pablo Motos behind the wheel of a toy car. The target, apart from winning the race, was to try to spill as little water as possible from an unfastened glass placed on the surface of the car.

A monologue by Vaquero, the madness of the ‘Monaguillo’ with Japanese products, a barter of an spectator with Manolo Sarriá and Marron’s science games with heat engines completed a night full of joy for Carlos, who is already training very hard for the new Formula 1 Season.