Carlos Sainz believes there would be “close to zero overtakes” in Formula 1 this year if it did not have DRS, but hopes the sport will be able to ditch the device under the new 2021 regulations.

F1 officials are currently engaged in talks over what the overhauled technical regulations will look like for the 2021 season in a bid to improve the on-track spectacle and allow for more overtaking.

A step towards this was made for 2019 as tweaks were made to the aerodynamic regulations to try and allow cars to follow each other more closely.

But Sainz said it had not been enough to make a meaningful change, still placing great importance on DRS.

“I can tell you that Formula 1 races without DRS nowadays would have close to zero overtakes,” Sainz told in an interview at Monza.

“I think DRS at the moment is needed. We cannot live without DRS. Hopefully in the future, we can not depend on it.”

Sainz currently sits seventh in the F1 drivers’ championship as the leading driver from a midfield team, leading McLaren to P4 in the constructors’ standings.

The team has not won a race since 2012 or scored a podium since 2014, with the new regulations for 2021 being identified as a possible breakpoint that could even out the field.

Sainz is sceptical that a total reset will take place in F1 under the new rules, though, saying the sooner a budget cap came into force, the better it would be for teams like McLaren.

“I think things are going to change, but the overall picture of Formula 1 will still be the same,” Sainz said.

“I am positive about what FOM has come up with, the aero regulations and the budget cap. I just wish it would be next year, because the earlier we introduce this kind of change, the better for the sport. We’ll see how it goes.”

“At the moment, FOM and F1 are very convinced about it that it will improve it, and we don’t have any other choice but to believe it and trust them.

“I think they’ve done research and done their homework, and we need to give a go to those regulations and see how it works. I think they’re going in the right way, 100 percent.

“How much will they improve? I don’t know.”