Carlos Sainz expects Lando Norris to be on pace straightaway in 2019 F1 season
McLaren's new recruit Carlos Sainz doesn't think that he will be able to 'cleanly beat' his rookie teammate Lando Norris in 2019 F1 season.
McLaren will feature an all-new line-up in the 2019 F1 season with now an experienced campaigner Sainz to be partnering an upcoming talent Norris after the departure of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Sainz comes into the team as a default leader from his experiences of Toro Rosso and Renault - mildly of Red Bull too, being in their family and so the team as well as Norris will no doubt look upto him.
His teammate Norris though is no fluke as well with the British racer coming in with multiple junior titles in his kitty - that too in no time. The wealth of talent and his quick learning is what has made made Sainz feel that it won't be an easy fight against him.
While the overall picture is to push McLaren to the top but the first person for any driver to beat individually is his teammate. "I don’t think it is possible to cleanly beat anyone in Formula 1 [these days]," said Sainz to me/FormulaRapida.net, when asked about the fight.
"I think we are all competitive [at the end of the day], we are all talented – it doesn’t matter if we are rookies or not rookies, we all are here to beat each other. So, I am not expecting to cleanly beat him [in 2019].
"I am expecting him to perform at a very high level straightaway like he showed in free practice in 2018 and to keep going up [as the year goes on] with the direction of McLaren [going up as well].
"Our main target in 2019 is to [not only] fight each other but also to fight the [whole of] midfield and help McLaren push towards the top again." It will be an interesting battle considering Sainz's past record against some formidable teammates.
He started off against Max Verstappen in Toro Rosso which was a close fight and then he beat Daniil Kvyat in the brief period. Against Nico Hulkenberg in Renault, it looked more as 50-50 situation even though the result sheet had the German with the upperhand.
It remains to be seen how Sainz and Norris will work together and still fight against each other, especially when McLaren is still in the re-building phase. There is no doubts that experience wise, Sainz will and should have the upperhand.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]