Carlos Sainz says his target is to win the world championship with Ferrari despite the recent struggles the team has been facing.

Ferrari slumped from be ing a front-running team in 2019 to fighting at the back of the midfield last season following power unit technical directives that had an impact on its performance. Before the first race of the delayed season, Sainz had been signed to replace Sebastian Vettel and although he joins a team that finished sixth in the constructors’ championship last year the Spaniard has a clear aim for what he wants from his time at Maranello.

“Since the very first day I started racing I only had two targets in mind: to become a Formula 1 Grand Prix driver and to win the world championship,” Sainz said. “After achieving the first one, all my focus and efforts are invested in trying to achieve the second target and there is no better place than Ferrari to go for it.

“The ambition is to help create a winning team, bring the Scuderia back to the very top where it belongs and win the world championship.”

Although he left an improving McLaren team that finished third in the constructors’ last season, Sainz — who completed over 150 laps testing a 2018 car at Fiorano (pictured above) in his first outing for the team this week — says he has full faith in Ferrari’s ability to recover from its sudden drop in competitiveness.

“Every single team goes through difficult moments at some point, it’s part of Formula 1. What really matters is the ability to bounce back. History shows that teams that won in the past are capable of being competitive once again. Ferrari is the most successful team in the history of our sport and there is a reason behind that. If there is a team on the grid that can fight back to the top, it is Ferrari.

“I have full confidence in the project and, even though the process might take some time, I’m sure the team will eventually return to its winning ways. What you can be sure of is that I will give my absolute best to help shorten that process as much as possible.”