His entry into Formula 1 may not have been as spectacular as that of some other young drivers in recent years, but Carlos Sainz is progressing from season to season and increasingly showing the quality he possesses. For his former teammate, he undoubtedly belongs in the company of the best F1 drivers of today.
Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were teammates at McLaren in 2019 and 2020. They made a completely new driving lineup for the Woking team and in 2019, after the departure of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, their arrival coincided with McLaren's progress and return to the top of F1 order.
For Norris, it was the first season ever in Formula 1, and Sainz came to McLaren after less than three seasons at Toro Rosso and just over one season at Renault. In addition to the good results and progress they showed, Lando and Carlos got along great off the track as well.
But the public's view of them was different. Along with Leclerc and Russell, Lando was presented as a big star of the future, while there was never a lot of noise around Sainz. He seemed, so to speak, average. However, the progress of the Spanish driver from season to season is evident.
The second season at McLaren was better for him than the first, and then he moved to the ranks of Ferrari and during 2021 did a very good job. Reassured skeptics who said it would be a failure of the Maranello team. There is no doubt about Norris.
Sainz is in his opinion one of the best drivers in Formula 1 at the moment, and he even admits that he overshadowed him in their second season together at McLaren. "I think my second year was good, but he overshadowed me because he did a great job.
I think this season I took that next step that would be equal to his or maybe better. " “Carlos is, I believe, one of the best drivers in Formula 1. That’s why maybe I didn’t seem so good because he’s an extremely good driver.
He did a very good job and all the best to him, "said Lando. Last year was generally very good for both of them. Norris was great in the first part of the season, while in the second he was followed by certain bad luck, so the result suffered
Lando Norris on Daniel Ricciardo
Sainz went through a period of adjustment at Ferrari in the first part of the season and then got better and better as the championship progressed.
He was on the podium four times and finished ahead of Norris and his teammate Leclerc in the overall standings. Norris believes that the great motivation for both of them was the victory against new teammates in 2021. The country was joined by Ricciardo, who came to McLaren with the status of multiple Grand Prix winner, while Sainz had Leclerc in the garage, according to many future world champions.
candidates for the greatest achievements. "I was always motivated to beat Carlos, but when Daniel came, I didn't feel nervous," says Norris. "A lot of people thought maybe I did and they questioned me since he's a multiple race winner and a driver who has been on the podium many times." “Everyone knows what Daniel is capable of because he drove a car that was winning races, while with Carlos, no one knew how capable he was because he used to drive for Toro Rosso and Renault and then McLaren." "More and more people are now realizing what he can do and what kind of driver he is when he drove with Charles and beat him quite often. ”