Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has conceded he does not expect new driver Carlos Sainz to be fully prepared for the new season due to the shortened pre-season testing schedule.
Formula 1 will only complete three days of testing in Bahrain ahead of the season-opener at the same circuit, a schedule half the duration of previous years and leaving only a-day-and-a-half per driver.
Binotto is under no illusion that the reduction in testing days will hamper Sainz's integration into the Scuderia.
"Only three days of winter testing is a very short time," said Binotto. "We will alternate the drivers over the three days, try to make the most of their opportunity.
"We know that for Carlos it will be a challenge. We organised some testing with old cars at Fiorano, with each single mile important for him to integrate into the team and get used to our procedures.
"But Carlos has progressed very well, he is very well integrated, his feedback of the car to the engineers has been good, and his speed on track has proven to be good, developing day after day.
"But it will take more time. We are not expecting him to be fully integrated 100 per cent at the start of the season.
Despite Charles Leclerc perhaps being the senior driver at Ferrari, Sainz's F1 experience outweighs his new team-mate's by three years.
Binotto has pointed to this experience as a balancing factor against the lack of testing days.
"Again, each single day will be important, and I believe he will be ready for the start of the season, very close to 100 per cent because he is not a rookie," he added.
"He is a professional driver, with some F1 seasons under his belt, so I'm pretty sure he will manage the situation pretty well and be ready."
Wat vinden jullie?
Once again, the Debbie Downer of F1 is getting fans ready for another season of failure. He seems to think if poor performance is predicted, it will be okay.
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