Sainz on Norris: It’s a healthy rivalry…for now

Michelle Foster

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz

Don’t for a moment think Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris take it easy on one another with the Spaniard saying it is a “rivalry”, but a “healthy” one at least for now.

Last season Sainz and Norris teamed up at McLaren for the first time.

For both drivers it was their first campaign with the Woking team and one that showed off a much improved McLaren.

The team finished fourth in the championship with Sainz taking McLaren’s first podium in five years with his P3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Off the track the relationship between the two new team-mates was easy going and humourous, promoting a good working relationship.

Sainz, though, says one must not think for even a moment that it is not also a “rivalry”.

“I miss him now in this period because it is a difficult moment and I would never want anything bad to happen to anyone I know,” quotes Sainz as having told Sky Sports Italia.

“But when he returns to being a rival, it means that we will be back on track and I will be happy for that.

“When we have a McLaren which can fight for the podium, it [rivalry] will be even more obviously, it will be a more difficult, but don’t think that it is not now.

“It is as they have been in the past in my team-mates like Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Verstappen.

“We know that rivalry can grow but even now we want to fight each other strongly.

“It is our team that has been good now in creating a beautiful environment, of rivalry but healthy.”

This season is Sainz’s final year with McLaren with the Spaniard linked to a move to Ferrari.

He has, however, stated several times that he is happy with McLaren and would definitely consider staying with the team come 2021.

For now, though, all contract talks are on hold as Formula 1 takes an extended hiatus.

Sainz says he doubts that will have an impact on the talks when they eventually do get going but for now there are bigger concerns to focus on.

“It does not complicate them at all,” he said. “For now, the world is facing more difficult things and the priorities are other.

“F1 is firm and it is also firm for these things. The races, the future, the contractual situation, everything takes second place and it is right.

“That is how it is. We all have to wait until our life slowly returns to normal to start talking about those things again.

“But I am not worried at all because what I had to demonstrate I already demonstrated last year.

“What matters in F1 is always the last race and my Abu Dhabi race went very well so that’s okay.”

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