Andreas Seidl has predicted Carlos Sainz will shine at Ferrari on his way to becoming “one of the top drivers in Formula 1”.
Sainz has just completed a two-year stay at McLaren, with whom he recorded his first two F1 podium finishes – an ‘inherited’ third place in Brazil after Lewis Hamilton incurred a penalty, and second position at this season’s Italian Grand Prix just behind winner Pierre Gasly.
Now the Spaniard moves on to Ferrari, already his fourth F1 team having begun with Toro Rosso before joining Renault and then McLaren.
Although Sainz’s progress has been steady rather than spectacular, Seidl, his team principal at McLaren, thinks the 26-year-old’s ascent towards the sport’s pinnacle will continue when he partners Charles Leclerc with the Scuderia.
“Carlos has what it takes to become a top driver in Formula 1,” said Seidl, quoted by Soy Motor.
“He has shown it in these two years with McLaren, a period that I believe is crucial in his career.
“I believe that thanks to our work in giving him a good car, Carlos has been able to show all his talent.
“It is fair to say we both benefited from the relationship. He made the leap in quality and received a call from Ferrari. We, on the other hand, got third place in the constructors’ standings and we improved as a team.”
There certainly has been a significant improvement in McLaren’s fortunes during Sainz’s time with the team and he formed a productive and friendly partnership with team-mate Lando Norris, who is five years his junior and was a rookie in the first of those two seasons.
“Carlos played a fundamental role in these two years,” said 44-year-old Seidl, who started working at McLaren in May 2019.
“He came to us at a very difficult time for the team and since the Abu Dhabi tests in 2018 he has given his blood for the team, both in the growth of the car and in the human relationship with the engineers.
“The results speak for him, the points too. The way he drives, the key he can find in relating with the team, the environment around him – these are the reasons why I am sure he will be successful at Ferrari.”