Carlos Sainz Jr believes he will thrive in his new surroundings at McLaren with clarity and control over his Formula 1 future. 

Following his loan spell at Renault, the Spaniard has joined McLaren for the upcoming 2019 season, replacing two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to partner rookie Lando Norris and form a revised driver line-up at the Woking squad. 

Having had the majority of his career thus far managed by Red Bull, a switch to McLaren on a two-year deal has enabled him to become in control of his own destiny, something Sainz said he is relishing. 

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“I’m really grateful for Red Bull, without Red Bull I wouldn’t be sitting here today as a McLaren driver,” Sainz explained. 

“So I really need to be grateful for everything that they’ve done for me. 

“But it is true that this is now a new chapter in my career, I am kind of managing myself in a way and I am independent. 

“This independence comes with a two year contract with McLaren so something that I really wanted, [to] find my first two year deal with a team. If that team is McLaren even better!

“[I’m] looking forward to it,” he added. “I’m going to be a new Carlos and I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.” 

McLaren will continue its recovery bid to return to winning ways in F1 in 2019, after finishing sixth in the 2018 constructors’ championship in the first year of its new engine partnership with Renault. 

The team has been bolstered by the signing of former Porsche LMP1 chief Andreas Seidl, while former Toro Rosso technical chief James Key will also complete his anticipated move this season. 

Sainz has already warned McLaren against getting “overexcited” with its aims for the upcoming campaign, adding his new team will have to work “little by little” to find a way back up F1’s pecking order. 

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