McLaren MCL35 launch. McLaren Technology Centre, 2020

Sainz “very happy” at McLaren but won’t rush new deal

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says he’s keen to stay at McLaren but won’t rush a new deal for 2021 and beyond.

What they say

Sainz was asked about his talks with McLaren over the 2021 F1 season:

It’s not a secret that I’m very happy here in McLaren. There’s obviously been some things going on in the background. Obviously we started to talk already.

But at the same time, you know, we we’re going to take it easy it because we’re in February, I think, so there’s no rush at all. But yes, I’m not going to hide that I’m very, very happy in McLaren and that I have a lot of faith in this project and the way it’s panning out.

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Comment of the day

Lando Norris says he feels the need to rein in some of his antics following criticism on social media.

Sigh. Feel bad for him.

You know he’s probably putting in more sim hours than a lot of drivers, but because he has a bit of fun on social media some people just hate him for that, not for any real reason, and so put him down when he makes mistakes that other drivers could make and get no hate for, and say that he doesn’t put in enough effort etc…
@Hugh11

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Sainz “very happy” at McLaren but won’t rush new deal”

    1. After a positive 2019 mclaren might be able to lure a top driver, they should not have to rely on pay drivers. For 2021, Ricciardo, vettel, hulk, alonso might all be attainable.

      1. Imagine the antics if Ricciardo is paired with Lando :)

      2. Neither Carlos or Lando is a pay driver, so I’m not sure where you’re coming from here?

        1. @exediron, he’s just trolling people like you because he wants attention and therefore is trying to stir up trouble.

      3. Carlos and Lando aren’t even pay drivers lol. And even if they were, they’re still good enough to have their seats on merit, like Checo at RP.

    2. Unless either driver has a remarkable downturn of form in 2020, I don’t see any reason why McLaren need to get rid of either driver. Carlos has great racecraft and Lando is quick with lots of room to learn. Alonso is too expensive, only wants the very best car and I really don’t imagine teams are tripping over themselves to get him onboard. Ricciardo is a great guy but about the same level of talent as Sainz, I would say so would be a bit pointless getting him in.
      The future seems bright for McLaren, I think. If Merc supply a competitive engine in 2021, I think they’ll be back to the sharp end of the grid again.

      1. Since motor racing is a vindictive sport, then Mercedes will veto Alonso driving a car powered by one of their engines, hence, he isn’t going back to Mclaren. So there’s no danger of that. The only team I can “realistically” see Alonso going to, is Ferrari, which will be of mutual benefit to both.

        Danny Ric will be expensive, but will jumping to Mclaren be worth it? If we are to believe that Renault are serious about 2021, Dan should stay put.

        I think Sainz and Norris are potential race winners, and I believe Mclaren know this as well. I don’t see them changing either driver unless one of them move on.

        1. Mercedes will veto Alonso driving a car powered by one of their engines

          I think I’m missing some context here – what does Mercedes have against Alonso? Memories of 2007? Or something more recent?

          Instead, wouldn’t it be a huge plus point to Mercedes that it took a Mercedes engine in McLaren to bring Alonso back? Not a Honda, not a Renault, but a Merc.

          1. Well according to the internet (and various reputable websites), one of the reasons why Alonso was not considered for the second Mercedes seat was because some of the top brass still bore some bitterness borne out of the 100m dollar fine….which hit Merc in the pocket back in 2007, as they were a significant share owner of Mclaren….makes sense right?

            Well at least thats one version of the story anyway.

            1. OK, fair enough, @jaymenon10. I’d have thought a simpler reason not to put Alonso in the second seat was simply the fireworks likely to erupt between the two drivers! :)

      2. They don’t *need* to get rid of them, but if they’re looking ahead to the top 3 teams, they’ll want a top driver again, which they don’t have atm. Sainz and Norris are being hugely overestimated atm because people are crediting them for the improvement in McLaren’s car, forgetting that Sainz compared unfavorably to Hulkenberg and Norris was easily beaten by Russell just the previous year. If McLaren are better than Renault again this year, I expect Ricciardo to switch unless he gets offered a seat at Ferrari or Mercedes.

    3. Cristiano Ferreira
      14th February 2020, 2:38

      Maybe Ricciardo or Vettel can sign for McLaren, unless Red Bull decides they want to bring one of them aboard again.

      I doubt we are going to see big moves until the end of 2021. That’s when the pecking order will be more or less clear.

      1. I could honestly see Vettel going back to RBR, but only if Verstappen were to leave. I think it would do a lot for his confidence and his form would probably improve if he rid himself of all the baggage that comes with racing for Ferrari.

    4. S5000 going to shame F1 for spectacle, even if just for a few laps! can’t wait to see Rubens back at it!

    5. I take it for 100% granted that there will be no change at McLaren, Ferrari and Renault the next season, it doesn’t make sense for any of the drivers. Vettel is a very reliable asset for Ferrari no matter what the haters say, he will sign for one more year and then, if the relationship with Leclerc doesn’t improve and McLaren will come good next season, there might be a possibility for a swap with Sainz. Currently I can’t imagine a better colleague for Leclerc than Sainz, and Vettel is the type of driver for whom McLaren might be an ideal place to work at – methodic style of work, efective structure for the future and moreover, he knows Andreas Seidl from his days at BMW. Danny Ric won’t go to McLaren, he already missed his chance in 2018.

    6. A shame that Rebellion cease its racing activities. They say it raised dramatically the brand awareness, but I didn’t know Rebellion was anything but racing. Looking at the website, they appear to make watches and repair and maintain performance and luxury cars.

      I guess it’s a logical move for them but at the same time WEC will feel empty without those excellent privateers.

      1. Yep, real sad, they will be missed, but Robert driving in DTM guarantees I’ll be watching DTM this year, great news.

    7. The tweet, though. I don’t really get it.

      1. @jerejj – Ocon’s now with Renault, but it appears the Mercedes team’s marketing/media team sent him the timetable (they likely didn’t remove him from their distribution list once he went off to Renault).

        One can only hope that the technical department don’t email him the driver’s manual for the car ;)

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