Age is a state of mind. This phrase from a bad self-help book becomes a palpable reality when referring to Carlos Sainz Cenamor. Because who was going to tell him, you have to differentiate him from Carlos Sainz Vázquez de Castro, his son. To anyone who dares to say “I am older”, “I am no longer up for these trots”, “I could do this 20 years ago” or any expression of this cut, you would have to plant a photo of the Dakar 2020 winner.
Carlos Sainz has no need to remain active. He has been fighting for four decades between curves of mud, earth and sand, and not only for walking like an old glory, but also showing that he is still capable of being the benchmark to beat for the children of those who already won in his ‘young’ years. The fearsome year that is now ending began with the great joy of seeing him, once again, in a new Dakar. And by then there was already a word hanging around everyone’s conversations, the one that has taken over and will take over the conversations from all over the planet. But at that time, no one expected what was to come.
Beyond the context in which it has occurred, this 2020 has ended with an old injustice and a black hole that was in the record of the most important award that is granted in Spain. As soon as he landed in Madrid with his third Touareg trophy, a mandatory and almost traditional campaign began to promote the award of the Princess of Asturias of Sports for the best rally driver in history. And this is not an expression or an opinion, but a fact: in March, Sainz was voted as the greatest legend in the WRC, despite the fact that Loeb and Ogier have long passed him.
Finally, an injustice that did not even need to be repeated was ended: it was incomprehensible that Carlos Sainz did not have the Princesa (formerly Prince) in his immense office that he has over the Las Rozas karting, his operations center where he controls all the movements of its hundreds of employees.
And it is that Sainz, in addition to being an active athlete with exemplary joviality, is also a entrepreneur of some success. Not only does it have several indoor karting circuits under its name, it also has a chain of gyms. He, like so many others this year, has had to do many accounts to try to save the furniture of his small but strong empire, started on the foundations of his sporting successes but with the bricks of a brilliant business mind.
A great athlete, a relatively successful businessman (ending 2020 without closing can be considered more than a success), the father of a successful athlete and an example for many. You just have to review his thank you speech from the Princess. Because if Carlos Sainz is a mirror of something, without a doubt, it is what any young I would like to become, in whatever field. «I encourage you to pursue your dreams with confidence, to fight for them, to be guided by illusion in your decisions and that effort, sacrifice and courage are your banner. It will not be easy, they will not give it to you, but remember that dreams can be fulfilled and, above all, avoid the remorse of not having tried. Listen carefully and respectfully to the veterans, whom I also encourage to adapt to the new times and to remain active, enjoying life with passion. Who wouldn’t be inspired by this speech?
Points to the electric future
And the future? Carlos Sainz will also be there. As his son moves to Maranello to continue writing his F1 history, he has gotten into another delighted ‘scrub’. The two-time world rally champion and three-time Dakar champion will become the driver and team leader of the Acciona Sainz XE-Team in 2021, where he will be accompanied by Laia Sanz. Because the best trail and enduro pilot that Spain has given knows which tree to lean on and which teacher to learn from to make the leap to four wheels. Sainz will learn, support and develop the Extreme E electric raid car project, a championship that has already caught the attention of the likes of Lewis Hamilton, among others.
2021 will start as 2020 did: with Carlos Sainz away from home, in Arabia, for the Dakar dispute. Again he will be the great favorite, with the permission of another ‘old rocker’ like Stepháne Peterhansel or the always candidate Nasser Al-Attiyah, among many others. And, again, we will have to ask him: what about retirement? To which he will twist his eyes, he will outline a half smile and will say the usual: while Reyes (his wife) can put up with him.