Nico Rosberg has put McLaren’s Carlos Sainz within his top four best Formula 1 drivers based on form this season.
Sainz’s impressive season reached new heights at Interlagos after he clinched his first-ever podium of his career, which was McLaren’s first since Australia in 2014.
The Spaniard climbed up from the very back of the grid to P4 on Sunday, but that became P3 after the FIA issued a post-race five-second penalty to Lewis Hamilton for causing a collision with Alex Albon.
Rosberg reckons that Sainz has been a top four driver all season long, but is now up to third in his estimations ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“Sainz is closing off an unbelievable season,” Rosberg said via his YouTube channel.
“I’ve always said he is in the top four of best drivers of the year together with Leclerc. So Leclerc, Sainz, Verstappen and Hamilton.
“At the moment I would maybe put Hamilton first, maybe him and Verstappen on a par after this race [in Brazil], maybe Hamilton slightly ahead.
“But Sainz is now third, just in front of Leclerc.
“He’s just done an unbelievable season, so many points in that McLaren, so great. He’s done an absolutely fantastic job.”
Sainz’s podium finish also helped McLaren seal the best of the rest spot in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of their engine suppliers, Renault.
Which drivers would make up your current top four?