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Carlos Sainz has opened up on an area of his charity work that leaves him grounded and takes him away from F1’s bubble.
The Ferrari driver has been involved with Juegaterapia, a foundation which supports children in his homeland of Spain who are suffering from cancer by donating games consoles and tablets, since his early days in F1 seven years ago.
At the time, Sainz was sponsored by PlayStation, and after hearing about the work of the organisation, a decision to get involved was an easy one to make.
“What these kids go through is extremely tough for me to digest and to accept, and extremely tough to understand how life can be so mean in some regards,” said Sainz, speaking to this writer in an interview for The New York Times.
“Since I met the guys in Juegaterapia, we have found ways to try and make the time where a kid who is going through cancer – and it doesn’t matter if it’s terminal or not terminal – is as fun and as light as possible.
“It may never make it good but at least you try and improve it, make it better, to pass the time better.
“It’s something I feel attached to. Obviously, I would like to help in more things in life, not only if I could give in Africa, but if I could do other stuff in other countries, I would.
“But what I feel is closer to me, what I feel where I can help is making the lives of kids that are going through a tough time in Madrid, or places close to me, a bit better.
“This is what I’m trying to do, and I find it very fulfilling. There are very few things that make me feel so in touch with a kid.”
Sainz has revealed a child he was close to was also diagnosed with cancer, fuelling his desire to work closely with the foundation.
“It was close to my family,” added Sainz. “I said ‘Okay, after personally going through this, I need to find ways to help these kinds of associations even more’.
“And it grounds you completely. You suddenly realise how unimportant a qualifying lap you did back in 2017 was that pissed you off so much.
“You realise how insignificant that is compared to all the other problems that people may have in life and I’ve seen them very close to me and it’s tough, it’s very tough.
“It does ground you. It brings you back out of the bubble in which we live and you see a bit of life with a lot more perspective.
“For every guy that has the frenetic life that we have, it’s key to step away a bit and say ‘Okay, it’s time to stop travelling a bit and see what can happen to you in life’.
“At any point, you need to go back to your life, enjoy it and live it to the maximum.”
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