With Carlos Sainz believed to be on his way to Ferrari, Fernando Alonso has backed his compatriot to have a “great future” in Formula 1.
Ferrari shock up the driver market on Tuesday with the early morning confirmation that Sebastian Vettel will leave the team at the end of this season.
After five years with Ferrari and no World titles, 2020 – when it finally begins – will mark Vettel’s last year with the Scuderia.
Later on Tuesday reports emerged claiming that Ferrari has already decided his replacement, Sainz.
Last season the McLaren driver made a major breakthrough when he bagged his first-ever podium finish with a P3 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It was a eye-catching drive in a grand prix in which Vettel and Charles Leclerc imploded, taking one another out of the race.
Alonso, speaking to Sky Sports before the Vettel news broke, said he reckons Sainz has a bright future.
“Carlos is doing great, not only last year,” Alonso told Sky Sports.
“I think last year the whole team did a good season and Carlos was there in the right moment, in the right place.
“But I think from the very beginning; already for Toro Rosso, he was doing a very good job.
“He had Max Verstappen as a team-mate at the beginning, which is never the easiest thing, and then he had Nico Hulkenberg in Renault, so he always had tough competition and he was always very, very competitive.
“I think it’s great for the country, good for Spain and I think he will have a great future.”
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