Carlos Sainz has been left in awe by the similarity in lap time between different Formula 1 teams after experiencing the difference between Ferrari and McLaren.
Sainz switched from McLaren to the Scuderia over the winter, finishing eighth at the Bahrain Grand Prix, just two positions and eight seconds shy of team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Having completed his first running in the SF21, Sainz revealed his amazement at the closeness between different cars on the grid despite the different characteristics of each machine.
When asked about how the Ferrari feels compared to the McLaren of last year, Sainz said: "It is very different, it is incredible.
"I still don't understand how Formula 1 cars can get to a similar lap time by feeling so different.
"It is super interesting because every car has its strengths and weaknesses, things that surprise you and you have to adapt to with your driving style and you are out there trying to discover how to adapt yourself to maximise all the weaknesses and benefits the car gives you, but what I am more surprised of is how different the cars feel but how close they are on lap time when it comes to qualifying.
"It is actually quite a good thing for Formula 1 because you don't have that in all the categories."
Sainz's McLaren replacement Daniel Ricciardo was pressed on the same topic and when asked if he had a similar feeling between last season's Renault and the MCL35M, he explained: "Every car is different.
"I think the best way to quickly say it is that all of us could jump into any car on the grid and get up to whatever... 90, 95 per cent relatively quickly because, in a way, they all do the same thing, they are all an F1 car," he added.
"They all have a fair amount of downforce. But it is probably extracting the last five per cent, that is where you will exploit different characteristics of the car.
"Whether that is through traction, braking, through high-speed cornering, the list goes on. It hasn't been a massive adjustment, long story short.
"It has felt familiar and it has just been extracting the last bit that will naturally come over a period of time."
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