F1 News: Carlos Sainz on Ricciardo's F1 exit – "It is how the sport treats us" – Sports Illustrated

Sainz describes the ruthless nature of F1.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz has come to the defence of Daniel Ricciardo, explaining what he perceives as a sport where drivers are judged very harshly for their performances. 
Ricciardo's exit from McLaren would never have been anticipated when his move to the team was announced in 2020, but his performances with the Papaya squad have certainly been underwhelming. 
There is debate surrounding whether Ricciardo or McLaren have greater responsibility for their failed partnership. Regardless, it is uncontroversial to say that the Australian did not achieve the results desired on either side. 
Despite this, Carlos Sainz told motorsport.com that the scrutiny Ricciardo experienced is something all drivers face:
"Every driver knows this because it happens to all of us on a lower scale at every race. 
"You're always as good as your last race, unfortunately, in this sport. If that gets amplified to a season, then you're only as good as your last season, and that's why Daniel is in such a difficult situation. 
"No one remembers your good days, it only counts if you are half a second off in qualifying or last season. And there's nothing we can do about it. 
"It's how the sport rates us, it is how the sport treats us. That is why the highs are so high. When you win, you're a hero: your best weekend, and you're the best driver in the world. 
"No one is better than you. But then, when you are [going] through a bad moment, it's a sport that is very tough."
There is some degree of truth to the Spaniard's comments, given that all sports have a reactionary element – given that the nature of competition involves reaction to live events. 
That said, Sainz's implication seems to be a far greater criticism of the F1 as a whole. 
Whilst F1 – as with any sport – has imperfections, it seems a stretch to suggest that elite athletes performing at the highest level should expect relatively tame criticism. 
Sainz continued his defence of Ricciardo:
"I feel for Daniel because I know how good he is. I always rated him super highly. He found himself in a car and at a team that maybe he didn't find himself comfortable at, and that's enough for your career to start going through a different path."


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