Carlos Sainz Jr says his two-year deal with McLaren provides him with stability for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

The Spaniard spent a year on loan to Renault while under contract with Red Bull, before McLaren signed him to replace two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in its 2019 driver line-up.

Following the expiry of his Red Bull contract, Sainz was keen to secure a two-year deal in order to stop speculation about his future. He penned an agreement with McLaren ahead of 2019, while the Woking-based squad confirmed it will retain Sainz and Lando Norris for next season in the build-up to this year’s British Grand Prix.

“I wanted a bit of stability in Formula 1 and I felt like I’ve never had the stability I deserved in a Formula 1 team,” Sainz said.

“I never had time to bed into a Formula 1 team. You could argue I was three years with Toro Rosso but those three years every year in June there were rumours, things going on.

“I wanted to make sure there was stability and no talk about my future and I could only focus on Formula 1 and extracting the best out of me.

“Under the Red Bull programme you always feel pressure, in the same way in McLaren you feel pressure to deliver because it’s McLaren,” he added.

“In red Bull I was on a contract that renewed every year. I think sometimes its underestimated how much it’s a boost for a driver to know you’re going to be there for a couple of years so you can settle in, find your way with a car, with a team, and I think there’s always examples out there to look at.

“I think it’s the best way to perform as an athlete with a bit of stability.”

Asked if having security over his future has enabled him to extract a greater level of performance, Sainz replied: “It’s a very good question actually and I’m not sure if it’s worth it in terms of performance and in terms of tenths, how much it affects you, when you put the helmet on.

“It’s something that you can never quantify, but what I can tell you is working with a team you know you’re going to spend more than a year with, definitely the team has with the approach towards you, knowing that you’re going to be driving that car next year, developing the car, asking things for yourself to develop as a driver, 1-1 with the car, it’s definitely a difference.

“You can see on a medium- or long-term deal how the whole team and driver works a bit more together. I think you’ve seen it this year with a few drivers that it does take a bit of time to adapt to a new car nowadays in Formula 1, or to extract the last two tenths of a car.

“Sometimes in a new team it’s not always easy to find the limit of a car and exploit it consistently. Having that extra years gives me that extra calmness and confidence to know I’m going to spend here a few years and the engineers are going to also respond to it.”

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