'I keep dreaming about it', Carlos Sainz targetting a maiden F1 race win in home Spanish GP

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz is still searching for his first ever F1 race win, and with his home race coming up this weekend around Spain, they'd be no better place for the 27-year-old to impress.

Carlos Sainz has had mixed results at the start of the 2022 season. The new Ferrari F75 emerged as a frontrunner from the very first race of the season, when Sainz and teammate Charles Leclerc earned a 1-2 in Bahrain.

Sainz followed up with another podium in the second race of the season, finishing third behind Leclerc and Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia.

But consecutive DNF's in Australia and Imola somewhat derailed Sainz' season, piling pressure on the Spaniard just weeks after signing a contract extension with Ferrari.

However, Sainz responded to his critics in fine fashion earlier this month, achieving another podium finish in Miami to take his points tally to 53, putting him fifth in the driver's standings.

Having finished inside the top three every time he's been able to cross the finish line this season, Sainz has clearly shown that he has the pace to compete - but his first ever F1 race win still eludes him.

Sainz' home race, the Spanish GP, is next up in the Formula 1 calendar, and the Ferrari driver admitted there'd be no better place for him to claim his first race win.

"To do it at my home Grand Prix would be the best ever," said Sainz.

"I keep thinking about it, I keep dreaming about it. Same way that when I was here when I was 10 years old, I dreamed about being a Formula 1 driver, and it happened.

"Then I dreamed about being a Ferrari driver and it happened. And I dreamed about winning, you know?"

"It's what motivates me, it's what makes me train at 7am and push like crazy. I'm thinking about it - but not obsessed."

But if Sainz is to cross the line first this Sunday, he'll face fierce competition from both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, who both look to be in a league of their own so far this season.

Sainz' teammate Leclerc currently tops the championship standings after winning in Bahrain and Australia, while Verstappen has endured reliability problems this season, but won every race he's finished, including the recent Miami GP.

However, that won't dishearten the Spaniard, who insists he isn't getting impatient about his very first race win.

"I don't feel that impatient about it," added Sainz.

"I want it, but you need to realise I've been going for a race win since the day I've arrived in Formula 1. I've waited a lot, so I'm ready to have to wait even further."

After finishing ahead of teammate Leclerc in the 2021 season by just four points, there was plenty of speculation about whether Sainz could challenge the Monegasque driver for the title this season, but his two early DNF's have allowed Leclerc to build up a lead in the championship.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, Saudi Arabia GP

But Sainz still feels confident about turning around his fortunes this season, and suggested that imminent improvements to the car will help.

"Yes, it hasn't been the ideal start to the season. Probably I'm the first one who's not 100% happy with how everything has gone.

"At the same time, you look at it in a positive way: you know, every race finish so far has been on the podium, even if I'm not 100% happy with the car I'm fighting for pole positions out there and I'm finishing on the podium when I finish.

"So those two zeroes in Australia, Imola, they have quite a big effect in the drivers' championship, but at the same time with 17 races left I think we still have plenty of time to recover.

"And now with an upgrade package coming, the car probably developing a bit, hopefully I can get it a bit more to my liking and get the season going."

Sainz returns to the track on Friday afternoon for the opening practice session of the weekend, with the race scheduled to start at 14:00 BST on Sunday, May 22.

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