Zak Brown says Calos Sainz “exceeded expectations” during his two-year spell at the McLaren Formula 1 team.

Sainz has joined Ferrari for the upcoming 2021 season after two campaigns at McLaren, where the Spaniard flourished alongside Lando Norris as the Woking squad enjoyed successive year-on-year improvements.

A series of impressive performances across 2020 saw Sainz sign off from McLaren by helping the team clinch third place in the constructors’ championship as he claimed sixth place in the drivers’ standings.

While Brown was always confident Sainz would deliver the goods when he signed him from midfield rivals Renault to become Fernando Alonso’s successor, he admitted that his displays went beyond the team’s initial expectations.

“Carlos has done an outstanding job,” said Brown. “We would never have signed him if we didn’t think he was an excellent Grand Prix driver.

“I think it’s fair to say he exceeded our expectations. I think he really came into his own in our environment. He’s done an outstanding job and he and Lando have helped lead the way these last couple of years.

“But as you know, in a racing team, your drivers are the superstars, they’ve been big contributors, so have everyone at McLaren to give them a good, reliable race car. Renault have been a good partner, so it’s all really come together and Carlos and Lando have made the most of the opportunity.”

McLaren has once again turned to Renault to replace its outgoing Spaniard, having convinced Daniel Ricciardo to abandon the Enstone project after just two years following his switch from Red Bull in 2018.

With Ricciardo and Norris, Brown believes McLaren now boasts the most exciting driver line-up on the grid for 2021.

“Daniel is someone that we’re very excited to have join,” Brown explained. “He’s obviously a proven race winner. He’s somebody we tried to get into our car a couple of years ago.

“Lando has continued to mature. He has had a great second season and I think the combination of our driver line-up is awesome and looking forward to both of them working together.

“I don’t think there is a combined driver line-up that will be more exciting next year on and off the track. I’m very confident we have got a very strong driver line-up.”



Loading Comments...