It is no secret that the deal between Carlos Sainz and McLaren is set to be long-term. The Spaniard earned his maiden F1 podium in Brazil and claimed P6 in the championship at the end of 2019, a year of change and growth for the Woking-based team. Both Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl praised their all-new line-up, a gamble that turned out to be a winning combination for the overhauled outfit.
Being extremely early in the season, contract-related negotiations are supposedly at an initial state if not absent, but Carlos Sainz admitted that informal talks have already started with McLaren. As Ferrari and Red Bull locked down their top assets post-2021, McLaren are starting to take their first steps.
“Obviously it’s not a secret that I’m very happy here in McLaren,- he told motorsport.com- and there’s obviously been some things going on in the background. We started to talk already, but at the same time we’re going to take it easy because we are in February. So there’s no rush at all”.
“I’m not going to hide that I’m very, very happy in McLaren, and that I have a lot of faith in this project and the way it’s panning out at the beginning.”
Andreas Seidl corroborated Sainz's message and stressed that the team is not rushing to finalize such talks or rush into an announcement. Stability is what both McLaren and Sainz are currently experiencing, as the Spaniard matured professionally and earned his way to a multi-year deal at Woking last year.
“We all like always clarity as soon as possible. - Seidl said - But especially on this topic, I think there's no rush for us at the moment to make any decisions or announcements".
“We’re just going into the 2020 season now we're very happy with Lando and Carlos, with what they have done last year. So it's important now for us as a team to make the next step.
Does it look like Sainz is ‘the chosen one’ to be the new face of McLaren in their rebirth phase? Yes. The Spaniard has reached a level of experience that allowed him to be top-team ready. Therefore, both parties are just testing the waters for the future, eyeing a move that already seems unmistakably certain.