With the 2019 Formula One season almost over, the time has come to see who are the biggest winners and losers of the year. To that end, 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg gave his list of winners and a surprising name popped up, Carlos Sainz.
According to the German, McLaren driver Carlos Sainz has been the third-best F1 driver this season. In Brazil last weekend, Carlos Sainz broke McLaren’s 5-year podium drought. It was also his first-ever podium finish in Formula One, even though he physically finished fourth. However, he got an unexpected post-race promotion due to a penalty for Lewis Hamilton.
With this podium, Carlos Sainz sits firmly in seventh in the drivers’ championship, tied on 95 points with Pierre Gasly. In his first season with McLaren, Carlos Sainz has turned plenty of heads, if not the cameras.
Now, one such admirer is Nico Rosberg, who has rated the Spaniard, higher that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
“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.”
With the shock podium, McLaren also secured fourth place in the constructors’ standings. This is the Woking-based team’s highest position in the championship since 2012. Now, McLaren are surely back and established themselves as the 4th fastest team.
Sadly, 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, saying that he was ‘too f***ing slow’.