Sainz: Not enough top F1 cars for top drivers

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz says there aren't "enough good cars to feed all the good drivers in Formula 1", and admits the shortage of title-calibre machinery is "very frustrating"

Sainz: Not enough top F1 cars for top drivers

With Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull largely monopolising the battles for not just F1 titles but individual race wins and podiums since the start of the hybrid era in 2014, a number of highly-rated drivers have been left waiting in the wings for their chance at top-level machinery.

F1 has had only two first-time champions since 2010, and while young drivers Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have offered a potential glimpse of title rivalries to come with their recent duels at Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, Sainz is mindful that individual timing will play a big role in the make-up of F1's future championship fights.

Asked whether he saw himself joining his peers Verstappen and Leclerc in fighting at the front in F1 in the future as part of McLaren, Sainz told Autosport: "I hope McLaren can build a car to one day have Lando [Norris] and me fighting these guys that you mention.

"I think Formula 1 can change a lot in 2021. And to already make the assumption that it's going to be a Verstappen-Leclerc... that's what we're going to have in 2019 and 2020 for sure, but in 2021 Formula 1 can change and suddenly the people who are going to fight could change perfectly.

"So it's just a matter of who's in the right place at the right time.

"If Verstappen is in the right place at the right time, he will win several world championships. If he's not, he will not win championships. And this is just the way it works unfortunately at the moment in Formula 1.

"This is a very frustrating part because the sport doesn't depend on the athlete.

"So it's not a 100-metre sprint where the best wins. I still think the best are normally in the best cars, but I don't think there are enough good cars to feed all the good drivers in Formula 1."

McLaren aims to halve the gap to the three leading F1 teams for 2020, while the new regulations in '21 are intended to further bring the grand prix field together.

Sainz believes F1 in its current state has "100 percent" missed out on potential champions, citing Fernando Alonso - who spent most of his grand prix career in the aftermath of his two titles in 2004 and 2005 in relatively uncompetitive machinery - as "the best example".

"We all agree that he could have had a few more world championships in Formula 1 and he just hasn't.

"Is he considered any less than any other driver? I don't think so. He's as good as any other driver but the number [of titles] is smaller."

shares
comments
Ask Gary: Is there enough time to design cars for 2021?

Previous article

Ask Gary: Is there enough time to design cars for 2021?

Next article

Haas F1 team ends split-specification experiment from Belgian GP

Haas F1 team ends split-specification experiment from Belgian GP
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021