“Without them, the Ferrari opportunity wouldn’t come,” Sainz praises McLaren ahead of Ferrari move as he prepares for F1 2020
Last Updated: 01/07/20 5:44pm
Carlos Sainz insists he will be “fully committed” to McLaren in 2020 as he bids to finish on a high before making his big Formula 1 move to Ferrari.
During the sport’s unexpected break, Sainz was confirmed as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement at Ferrari for 2021 – meaning he will have a whole season with current team McLaren before joining a rival.
But with McLaren giving him their blessing, and Sainz keen to repay the faith shown in him in his sole season with the team last year, the Spaniard told Sky F1’s Natalie Pinkham that he will be giving it his all.
“I think it’s going to be a smooth transition, very easy going,” Sainz said on the In The Pink podcast.
“Everyone at McLaren can be 100 per cent sure that until the last lap of the last race, I’m going to be a McLaren driver pushing flat-out and being fully focused on the McLaren job.
“When that’s over I will focus on Ferrari, but I don’t want one thing to interfere with the other. I am fully committed to this project, to this team, I want to finish on a high and I’m going to give my absolute best.
“Then there will be time to start thinking about the next season with Ferrari, which for sure will have its challenges, it’s not going to be easy at all, but at least I need to try and finish on a high with McLaren.”
The first race of the season takes place this weekend, with the Austrian GP live and exclusive on Sky Sports F1.
Sainz’s journey to one of motorsport’s most coveted seats hasn’t been plain sailing, with stints with Toro Rosso and Renault before joining McLaren. But it is in Woking where he found his best form.
“They are very special people [at McLaren], very important people in my career, because without them the Ferrari opportunity wouldn’t come,” Sainz explained.
“In McLaren I think I’ve managed to be best version of myself.”