Carlos Sainz states that he has a healthy rivalry with McLaren teammate Lando Norris like he had mostly with others as he adds that pandemic is no worry for future F1 contract.
Because of the level of competition between teammates – who are often close F1 rivals considering their equal machinery – relationships between them can turn sour, and they frequently do. Some stay as good friends too as not everything is bad.
This sort of unrest between F1 drivers who race under the same team colors can certainly be avoided, but it requires an immense amount of respect between the two parties, and as teams move up the grid and stakes get ever-higher, maintaining chivalry becomes increasingly difficult.
At McLaren, however, Sainz is confident that his friendship with Norris can stay intact. So far, this claim seems to have merit given that the British team are best-of-the-rest, and both the drivers remain chummy. He maintains he hasn’t had issues with any driver.
“I miss him now in this most friendly period because it is a difficult moment and I would never want anything bad to happen to anyone I know,” said Sainz in an interview to Sky Sports Italia. “But when he returns to being a rival, it means that we will be back on track and I will be happy for that.
“When we have a McLaren which can fight for the podium, it [rivalry] will be even more obviously, it will be a more difficult, but don’t think that it is not now. It is as they have been in the past in my teammates like Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Verstappen.
“We know that rivalry can grow but even now we want to fight each other strongly. It is our team that has been good now in creating a beautiful environment, of rivalry but healthy,” summed up Sainz. It was to be a crucial season with both having a one-year contract.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of races certainly makes the contract talks complicated but Sainz is not worried about it right now and feels that he has done enough already to warrant an extension if the situation arises later.
“It does not complicate them at all,” started Sainz. “For now, the world is facing more difficult things and the priorities are other. F1 is firm and it is also firm for these things. The races, the future, the contractual situation, everything takes second place and it is right.
“That is how it is. We all have to wait until our life slowly returns to normal to start talking about those things again. But I am not worried at all because what I had to demonstrate I already demonstrated last year. What matters in F1 is always the last race and my Abu Dhabi race went very well so that’s okay,” summed up Sainz.
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The story was edited by Darshan Chokhani