Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly are both anticipating a tough final fight for sixth place in the drivers’ championship, urging caution ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Toro Rosso’s Gasly and McLaren driver Sainz both scooped their maiden F1 podium finishes last time out in Brazil, finishing second and third respectively to leapfrog Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in the standings.

The pair are tied on 95 points heading into the final race of the year at the Yas Marina Circuit, 11 points clear of Albon, with Gasly sitting ahead in the classification on countback.

“I think it makes it really exciting, you know, coming in the last race of the season with something to play in the championship, so really looking forward to that battle,” Gasly said.

“Carlos and McLaren have been fast all year long, and consistent. So we expect it to be tough but it will be our job to execute the perfect weekend to hold to that sixth place until the end.”

Sainz has been the leading midfield driver through much of the 2019 season, but said the chance to fight for sixth felt like a bonus after not expecting to overhaul one of the Red Bull entries.

“I think we’re as confident as we can be, but at the same time, you’re obviously cautious. You can never know what’s going to happen in the last race,” Sainz said.

“I already consider it a bit of a success to be fighting for P6. It’s a bit of a bonus because you never expect, when you’re in the midfield, to fight for P6. Maybe you would expect to fight for P7.

“Now that we have the chance, we’ve created ourselves an opportunity, and we want to take it, obviously.

“I’m sure it’s not going to be easy. Pierre and Toro Rosso during the last few weekends have been very strong. They’ve executed some really nice races and I’m sure we’re going to have some fun and some tough competition.”