Carlos Sainz has said McLaren gave him a “huge boost” in his career and became a “better version” of himself whilst driving for the Woking team.
The Spaniard is now adapting to life as a Ferrari driver, but it is hard to imagine that move coming to fruition if it wasn’t for his two very impressive seasons for McLaren – finishing P6 in the Drivers’ Championship in both 2019 and 2020.
Sainz continues to impress in Scuderia red and already has his first podium with his new team after finishing P2 at the Monaco Grand Prix.
But, when reflecting on this latest stage of his career he was keen to stress how much of an important factor McLaren was to him.
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) May 25, 2021
“McLaren was a huge boost in my career,” Sainz told Sky F1.
“I found a bit of a new Carlos there. McLaren helped me to become a better version of myself and I will always be thankful to them for that.
“I’m happy where I am right now, especially because there has been a lot of talk this year about changing teams and how difficult it is to adapt.
“I feel comfortable, I feel happy, I feel I’m driving well. I’m still not at the best I can be.
“I’m still not the Carlos of the second year at McLaren, when you know a bit better the car, the whole package, the team.
“But I’m getting there and trying to make the whole learning process as quick as possible.
“I’m living now in Maranello, there is a lot of hours of simulator, a lot of hours of analysis, a lot of time spent with the engineers.
“I don’t know how much of a difference it’s making, it’s impossible to calculate, but I’m really hoping it’s making a difference and helping me to adapt quicker.”
Sainz noted the aforementioned Monaco Grand Prix as a key moment in the season for him and Ferrari, with the Scuderia realising that they are heading down the right path in eventual pursuit of World Championship gold.
He added: “Monaco was a huge confidence-booster.
“We knew we would be good in Monaco but not that good. Basically it gave us a good feeling to know we are going in the right direction, working well and not that far from the top at some circuits.”