Features

Stuff X-ray: Carlos Sainz Jr.

We go full throttle with McLaren’s new F1 racing driver

You are new to the McLaren racing family. How excited are you not just to be a part of such a great team, but also to step into the shoes of your boyhood idol – Fernando Alonso?

Yes, it’s obviously a bit of a dream come true for me to be joining such a legendary name in motorsport. And the way I’ve joined the team is quite special, replacing my childhood hero. But the way everything evolved last year and I ended up signing with the team is something that came very naturally. I feel very motivated, and am elated to be a part of this family.

 

The last few years have been somewhat tough for McLaren. What’s your expectation going into the 2019 season?

The last few years have been tough for everyone apart from Mercedes and Ferrari. They’ve set a new benchmark in F1 for the way a team needs to work. McLaren is one of those teams that wants to make a comeback to winning ways and be competitive again. This takes time, but the first steps were taken last year with the factory and the way the team works. I really hope we can make a comeback in the next season.

What are you going to be doing over the off season?

I’m going to spend a lot of time here in Woking (McLaren HQ) as I still have a lot of people to meet, a lot of people to talk to and to share opinions about last year, and the new season that is coming up. I want to make sure that I’m 100 percent ready for Australia to lead this challenge. It’s going to be a busy winter for me.