Carlos Sainz was acclaimed upon his return to Spain with his third Dakar under his arm. Leave the door open to return in 2021. “I’m still having fun,” he says.
After answering for four hours all the congratulations, the brand-new three-time Dakar enjoyed the tribute that the Spanish fans gave him on his arrival in Barajas. There he shared the “hangover” of the title with his son, the Formula One driver. Sainz acknowledged feeling overwhelmed by the reception and wanted to share the merit with his co-pilot Lucas Cruz: «His patience with me has been fundamental to achieve it». Cruz confessed with humility that it is an honor for him to run “with someone who has been everything in the competition.”
«Now it’s time to rest. We have earned the right to decide our future. There will be people who wonder why I keep running, but I don’t cheat anyone. I do things well, I will not sunbathe », Sainz replied to the media leaving the door open to participate in the next edition. «I’ll have time to think about it. I’m still having fun, if not, I wouldn’t continue. In fact, this may have been the edition for which I have prepared the most ».
In addition to all the difficulties of the desert, his conquest has an extra merit: it is his third crown with three different marks. He has been crowned with Mini after doing it before with Volkswagen and Peugeot. “Lucas and I put a lot of effort into the part of the development of the car,” said Sainz, who wanted to respond to criticism of Toyota’s regulations, for “favoring” his car. «There has been a lot of talk about the superiority of buggies, but last year it didn’t go well and nobody complained», said the 57-year-old. But the controversies between the Spaniard and Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel were parked as soon as Sainz crossed the final goal. His rivals kept him. «It was very beautiful, because it means respect. We all know how we played it, ”said Mini.
Sainz is clear about the crucial moment: «In the second to last (of 12 stages) we lost all the accumulated advantage. It was difficult, but at that moment we convinced ourselves that this Dakar had to be won yes or yes. The three-time champion did not weigh the responsibility in the last stage: «We were worried until the last moment, but we imposed ourselves thanks to our navigation». On the new headquarters (Saudi Arabia) said that «It has been the same, except for not eating ham and if it serves to make the country open, perfect».
THE ART THAT HIDES THE DESERT
Carlos Sainz has chosen four books on which to pose his third Tuareg, none is from the motor world and the first one cannot be a coincidence. With him he shares his nickname “Matador”, as he was known in the World Rally Championship for his imposing personality, and brings together the first ten years of the mythical art magazine. The other three works, by José Manuel Ciría and Alberto Schommer, also reflect interest in design and image.