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Binotto offers theory on why Sainz is making driving mistakes

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto believes he knows why the experienced Carlos Sainz has made some high-profile driving errors early in the 2022 season.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz is set to start Saturday's Sprint race at Imola from 10th place, in what was a slightly lucky escape after crashing out of qualifying during Q2. With the Spaniard pushing to improve his time before the rain intensified during the dramatic session, he lost the rear of his F1-75 while negotiating the final corner and spun off into the barriers. He was second on the Q2 timesheets at the time, meaning he made it into Q3 due to the conditions preventing improvements after his exit. It was the second conspicuous error from Sainz in two consecutive events, following his spin out of the Australian Grand Prix on Lap 3 due to pushing too hard after falling to the back of the field.

Sainz struggling to "manage the pressure"

Team boss Mattia Binotto has backed Sainz to bounce back from his disappointments, which are in stark contrast to the relentlessly impressive Charles Leclerc. "I don't think that there are issues; certainly [he] needs to adapt," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com , on Saturday at Imola. "I think that he has done a couple of mistakes which are important but, nevertheless, I think that he is improving himself. He is going faster and faster. If I look yesterday, when he was driving, he was really driving fast. "[It was] a shame because, when he went off, I think it was not the right time to push to the limit – he knows very well." Binotto believes Sainz is struggling to adjust to the fact that, for the first time, he is in a car capable of fighting for wins on merit. "I think that's a matter of managing the pressure," he said. "Maybe [for] the first time in his career, he's got a car which is fast enough to compete for the best positions. "He simply needs to get used to that, but he will do it very quickly, because I know how smart and how capable he is to manage the pressure."

Sainz and Ferrari sign a new contract

Heading into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, Ferrari confirmed a new two-year deal with Sainz. This means that he and Leclerc, also on a long-term deal, will be teammates at the Scuderia until at least the end of 2024. Binotto said it was important to show Sainz that the Italian outfit have confidence in him and his abilities. "We are very happy with him, the way that he has integrated into the team, [and] the way that he's performing," he explained. "I think simply that he is matching the expectations and, after that, I think we are very, very happy. "It was the right moment to look ahead, to look further, and I think that by renewing and extending [the contract], it's like giving the right stability to the team as well. "We know that our drivers are confirmed to the end of 2024 and we can build on it and I think, as Ferrari, our main objective is to try to really create the foundations for the future. "With that line-up, I think it's the best we can do."

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