Carlos Sainz will give Charles Leclerc “a run for his money” in 2021, when the Spaniard will replace Sebastian Vettel as Leclerc’s team-mate at Ferrari, according to Zak Brown.
Last week Sainz was confirmed as Vettel’s replacement after Ferrari and the four-time Formula 1 World Champion failed to agree terms on a new contract, bringing an end to their relationship.
Sainz’s current boss, McLaren chief Brown, reckons the 25-year-old will challenge Leclerc.
“I think he’s going to go really well at Ferrari, I think he’s going to give Leclerc a run for his money,” Brown told Sky Sports F1.
“I think he’ll be really good for the Ferrari mould. If they have a race-winning car I think Carlos is going to win races.”
Brown heaped praise on Sainz who only joined McLaren last year and scored his first career podium in Brazil, helping the British team to finish fourth in the standings – a vastly improved performance on their recent form.
“He did a better job than I even thought he was going to, and obviously we wouldn’t have signed him if we didn’t think he was going to do a good job.
“But he really didn’t make any mistakes. [There’s] real maturity and a lot of pace – let’s not forget he had a poor start to the season, so he didn’t really start scoring points in the first couple of races.
“He worked really well with Lando [Norris]. He’s very fast, he’s a team player, I never felt nervous when Lando and Carlos were round each other in the track.
“Some of the other teams you see the team-mates get near each other, and they seem to have magnets.”