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Sainz feeling no pressure filling Alonso's shoes

  • Published on 17 Feb 2019 17:26
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Carlos Sainz says that he is feeling no pressure replacing Fernando Alonso at McLaren for the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Sainz was confirmed as a McLaren racer days after Alonso announced that he would be walking away from the sport at the end of the 2018 season. The Woking-based squad found itself competing towards the back of the field last year as it failed to successfully develop the MCL33.

This year, it boasts a fresh line-up, with its junior driver Lando Norris arriving in place of Stoffel Vandoorne. Sainz says that he is not feeling any pressure replacing his boyhood hero, who many see as one of the Formula 1 greats.

"No pressure really.  This year we’re not fighting for any world titles. It’s not the same situation as Fernando maybe back in the day, or anything like this. I’m impatient to win, but I don’t need to win now or never. I’m still 24, I can take it a bit easily. 

"Maybe a big amount of pressure in the team because I want to be part of this recovery plan, I want to be part of his restructuring stuff. 

“I think what Fernando did, the results he did, and I respect it a lot. But don’t feel the pressure of stepping into his shoes. Fernando is Fernando, and Carlos Sainz is Carlos Sainz.” 

Sainz revealed that he spoke to Alonso following the post-season Abu Dhabi test, where he made his first outing for McLaren. He added that his compatriot is a good friend and they have frequent conversations. 

"I spoke to him after the Abu Dhabi test, just to have a few chats about the car, what did I think about comparing it to the Renault,” Sainz said. 

“And then to be honest he’s a friend of mine, so we keep in touch about going rallying sometimes, about going karting, we definitely have a good relationship about this project. 

“Until I try the car it will be difficult to share any kind of thoughts. So let’s wait. I cannot wait to drive it to be honest on Monday, and have my first impression.”

Replies (2)

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  • He feels no pressure because he won't be driving next to Alonso. Because he won't see the 3 tenths gap in every qualifying, and watch Alonso dissappear ahead of him during the race like Fisichella, Massa, Kimi, Jenson, and Stoffel all endured. So sure, no pressure. Although, I wouldn't be surprised to see Lando start beating Sainz regularly after the first couple of races.

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2019 - 20:35
  • xoya

    Posts: 458

    He probably should, since points aren't a given in modern day Mclaren, yet Alonso scored 'em all the time. Without him, they would finish second to last in 2018.

    • + 0
    • Feb 17 2019 - 22:21

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