Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz

Rookies say Alonso is best but Hamilton title favourite

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz

When it comes to two crucial questions about Formula 1, Toro Rosso’s all-rookie lineup of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz – is unanimous.

When asked to name the best current driver on the grid, Verstappen answered: “Alonso.”

And his 2015 teammate, another grand prix debutant and a Spaniard, Carlos Sainz, agreed: “Fernando, of course.”

But their answer, whilst also in agreement, was very different when it came to the matter of the likely winner of the 2015 world championship.

Dutchman Verstappen is quoted by the Spanish daily AS: “[Lewis] Hamilton. The [Mercedes] car he has is amazing.”

Sainz agreed: “Hamilton, yes.”

Hamilton Alonso

For his part, 17-year-old Verstappen’s looming debut has been highly controversial, as he is just a year out of karts and not even the holder of a full road car driving licence.

But he insisted: “When you are offered the chance to drive in F1, no matter your age, you must accept it. It could be a long time before you get another.”

Their 2015 machine, the STR10, will be launched next Saturday, the day before the start of official testing at Jerez.

“It is impossible to set goals,” 20-year-old Sainz said at an event for sponsor Cepsa, “without having even tested the car.

“But I think both Toro Rosso and I want to be in the points and hopefully we can be fighting for the top ten, but the truth is that I don’t know where we will be,” the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion added.