Carlos Sainz has revealed he will always view Sebastian Vettel as "a role model" due to the early "reference" provided by the four-time F1 champion early in the Spaniard's career.
As a product of Red Bull's driver development programme, Sainz learned his trade at a time when Vettel was ruling the F1 world from 2010 to 2013, and the lessons at that time have not been forgotten.
Despite the irony of Sainz replacing Vettel at Ferrari after the Scuderia ended the 33-year-old's six-season relationship with the team at the end of last year, the former still holds the latter in high regard.
"I´ve known Seb for many years and he has always been a reference in my career," said Sainz, on Ferrari's website.
"I was doing endless hours in the simulator at Red Bull Racing when he was winning world championships and I learned a lot from his way of doing things, in and out of the track.
"He is definitely one of the best drivers in the history of the sport and I will always consider him a role model in many ways."
Sainz is still finding his feet with Ferrari following his arrival, scoring 20 points from four races, albeit half that of team-mate Charles Leclerc.
The 26-year-old insists he is handling the pressure of being in a very different spotlight compared to when he was with McLaren, Renault and Toro Rosso.
"Every F1 driver has a lot of pressure, not only Ferrari drivers," added Sainz. "The key is not how much pressure there is, but how you handle it.
"Ferrari is expected to be at the top because it is the most successful team in the history of the sport.
"We share the same goal, which is to be back winning as soon as possible, and that inevitably sets the bar very high.
"I turn that ambitious goal into motivation rather than pressure, and it gives me strength to keep going."
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