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Rosberg: Sainz the third best driver in 2019

  • Published on 22 Nov 2019 15:30
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has labelled Carlos Sainz as the third-best F1 driver this season.

Last time out in Brazil, Sainz secured his first-ever podium finish in F1 by crossing the line in fourth place before being promoted up a spot due to a penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

Sainz currently sits seventh in the drivers' championship, level on 95 points with Pierre Gasly, who spent the first half of the season with Red Bull Racing. 

In what is his first year with McLaren, Rosberg has hailed to performance of the Spaniard, placing him above Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in his personal ranks.

“Sainz is closing off an unbelievable season,” Rosberg said. “I’ve always said he is in the top four of best drivers of the year together with Leclerc. So Leclerc, Sainz, Verstappen and Hamilton.

“At the moment I would maybe put Hamilton first, maybe him and Verstappen on par after this race, maybe Hamilton slightly ahead.

“But Sainz is now third, just in front of Leclerc. He’s just done an unbelievable season, so many points in that McLaren, so great. He’s done an absolutely fantastic job.”

McLaren also secured fourth place in the constructors' standings in Brazil, taking its highest finish in the championship since 2012. 

Lando Norris crossed the line in eighth place, recording his tenth points finish this season - however the Briton admitted disappointment with his performance after the race.

Replies (5)

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  • Dumb ranking. Rosberg should have stayed ( away from ) F1 ( predictions ).

    • + 1
    • Nov 22 2019 - 20:26
    • What's so dumb about it? I mean... I think most people would put the same people at the top but in slightly different order.

      I think that it's fantastic that people are starting to recognize Sainz after so long. It's silly how easily we go from recognizing a driver as a 'great' being on the podium, but merely midfield if getting a bunch of 4th and 5th places.

      Also, while I think Max's highs have been really high. As in the most spectacular wins of the year. I think that Lewis has been overall better. Simply because of the number of mistakes. Max had a big dip in performance mid-season. The fact that Albon had him outscored until Brazil says it all.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2019 - 00:16
    • Perhaps, an average car could very easily make a driver better than he really is. If i rank Kimi better than Vettel, he wouldnt become one is he? Sainz had some exceptional drivers this season. Perhaps a resurgent Mclaren would clear our doubts may be.

      • + 0
      • Nov 23 2019 - 03:45
    • Yes, there is definitely some of that. But the fact that Sainz gets recognized makes it all the more impressive. In the specific example of Kimi we actually know what happens when he has a top car: consistent mediocrity. For 5 consecutive years actually.

      • + 0
      • Nov 24 2019 - 06:47
  • It's an interesting view. Is he really third best? I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to put him in my top 10. He compared pretty well to Max in the STR car, but since then we never saw them two head to head, so it's always been hard to tell just how far he has progressed. I always felt he was a kinda slower but more consistent counterpart to Max. And he has no doubt done very well in the McLaren. I look forward to see where they'll end up in the coming seasons, and I'm thrilled for the McLaren fans out there.

    • + 0
    • Nov 23 2019 - 16:02

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