Sainz: Lessons learned from Alonso

Date published: January 21 2016

Carlos Sainz says watching how Fernando Alonso coped with 2015's "tough moment in his career" was a good lesson.

The Toro Rosso driver is close to his compatriot, often spending time together a grand prix weekends, and has taken on the 34-year-old as his role model.

The double World Champion's dismal 2015 campaign saw him spend most of the season lapping at the back of the field – and that's on good days when his McLaren-Honda was up and running.

It was Alonso's worst season in Formula 1 since his point-less Minardi debut back in 2001.

But there is a silver lining to it, at least for Sainz, who says he learned a great deal watching how his fellow Spaniard coped with the hardship.

Sainz told Autosport: "He's a very good role model.

"He's now going though a tough moment in his career so it is interesting to see how he reacts, how he still switches on and how he deals with all these things.

"It's interesting to see, to observe, to learn. Last year was all about learning.

"Fernando doesn't need to advise me because I always look and observe him.

"He hasn't come to me and said, 'maybe try this or think about doing that'.

"Just by speaking to him in the drivers parade, as you see me always, or around in the paddock. I can learn from him.

"It's been a bit like a mirror, where to see yourself."

As for his own trials and tribulations, Sainz had hoped to score more points but like Alonso was often let down by his car's reliability.

Despite this Toro Rosso have retained him for a second season and he will partner Max Verstappen again in 2016.

"It's not nice to see you don't have all the points you deserve on the table," he said.

"But in the end, the people's view that I care about – Red Bull and Toro Rosso – they know all the points I could have now, they have done the calculation.

"I think more than one would be surprised to see the amount of points i could have in my bag without the reliability issues.

"From the calculations I have seen, I could have been a lot higher up, but you never know.

"At the end, you have to take it. This is sport, sometimes you don't just depend on yourself.

"Hopefully in 2016, all this will be solved and we can go for it properly."