Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz thinks Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel is one of the best drivers in F1 history, explaining how the German helped him during his early years.
The Spaniard, who ironically replaced Vettel at Ferrari this season, says the German champion was one of his reference points when Sainz was a Red Bull junior, adding that the former Ferrari driver played a crucial role in his development.
"He [Vettel] is definitely one of the best drivers in the history of this sport and I will always consider him a role model to follow in many respects," Sainz told Italian media house La Repubblica.
"I have known Seb for many years and in my career he has always been a point of reference for me. I spent endless hours in the simulator in Red Bull Racing while he was winning world championships and I learned a lot from his way of doing, both on and off the track."
Sainz shared some insight into what it's like driving for the legendary Italian team and how he copes with the pressure of representing Ferrari.
"Every Formula 1 driver has a lot of pressure on him, not just those that drive for Ferrari," Sainz stated.
"The key factor is not how much pressure there is, but how it is handled. Ferrari is expected to be the best because it is the winningest team in the history of this sport. We share the same goal, which is to get back to winning as soon as possible, and this inevitably makes the level very high.
"I make sure that ambition becomes motivation, rather than pressure, the strength to move forward also comes from here."
Moving from the McLaren team, Sainz has made steady progress learning the ropes at Ferrari this year. Though the Spaniard has only scored half the number of points as teammate Charles Leclerc, he's played a key role in helping Ferrari push his former team for third place in the constructors' standings so far.