Sainz on the same level as Verstappen - de la Rosa

Published on 02 Nov 2018 14:23

Former Grand Prix driver Pedro de la Rosa believes that compatriot Carlos Sainz is on the same level as Max Verstappen. Sainz and Verstappen were teammates at Toro Rosso before the latter got promoted to Red Bull in place of Daniil Kvyat.

Sainz switched to Renault towards the end of 2017 and confirmed in August that he would be joining McLaren in 2019, ending his partnership with Red Bull that stretches back to 2010. But despite Verstappen getting the call-up to the senior squad before Sainz, de la Rosa thinks they are on the same level.

“I see [Carlos] as a top driver and for me, it is very clear that he is at the same level as Verstappen and Hulkenberg and faster than many others which shows the level he is at,” said the former Jaguar and McLaren racer.

“I have no doubt he is World Champion material. The next Alonso? The comparisons are odious because Fernando is one of the best in history. In fifteen years we will be in a position to compare them, not now.”

McLaren has been struggling over the last number of years, and hasn't scored a podium since the opening race of the 2014 season. With 2018 being another disappointing season for the Woking outfit, de la Rosa believes that worst has passed for McLaren.

“Next year they probably will not fight for a podium but they will be more competitive than this year. Honestly, I believe we have seen the worst of McLaren, but you have to be realistic as it is highly unlikely that from the back of the grid they will be podium contenders next year. This does not happen in Formula 1.”

Replies (11)
Posts: 951
If that was the case then Redbull wouldn't let him go. More an Spanish driver complementing another Spanish driver.
SE calle.itw 02 Nov 2018 16:000
Posts: 5652
Maybe, but its hard to see when they aint in comparable cars. And if they are on the same level, where is Hulk then, and where in turn is Perez?
US ajpennypacker 02 Nov 2018 21:040
Posts: 1411
I think that while Pedro clearly has a bit of an agenda here trying to help his friend and countryman, he would not have been too far off when Max and Carlos raced together. Now? Well, it's very difficult to compare, but if I had to assess it right now, I'd say that Max has clearly gotten better and Sainz... not as much. At least by comparison and results. I was much more impressed with his drives at Toro Rosso than at Renault.
SE calle.itw 02 Nov 2018 22:380
Posts: 5652
I agree, but again, its hard to say. And Sainz has been spending more time racing in the midfield compared to Max, so by now they are very different drivers methinks. But I do wonder how Hulk and Perez would stack up against Max in the same car. One is clearly better than Sainz, and that one was bested by Perez. I'd love to see them get a try in a good car.
US mcbhargav 02 Nov 2018 17:380
Posts: 729
Redbull has more data than Mr. De la Rosa, and they rated Verstappen better than Sainz, however small the margin might be. end of story.
GB LightIsRight 02 Nov 2018 17:530
Posts: 92
Thank you, the Hulk is amazing. Been saying it for years. Cant wait to see smiler next to him next year!
Posts: 951
agreed Hulk is great. However needs to break his podium duck. Also he seems to get results through strategy in stead of overtaking outright. a bit prone to making mistakes when the pressure is on him in higher positions, hence his lack of podiums.
GB Major Tom 04 Nov 2018 22:310
Posts: 139
I think that Smiler will do a lot better than the Hulk next year. Basically the top three or four drivers are are head and shoulders better than the rest at the moment.
Posts: 86
Hulk 69 points with 5 dnf’s vs. Sainz 45 points with 2 dnf’s
SE calle.itw 03 Nov 2018 14:070
Posts: 5652
How many of Hulk's dnf's were technical?
GB Major Tom 04 Nov 2018 22:270
Posts: 139
You must be joking Pedro!

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