McLaren should be worried about losing Carlos Sainz to Ferrari in 2021, says Formula 1 pundit Martin Brundle.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, who shone last year in his first season with McLaren, is out of contract at the end of the 2020 season.
Asked by the Daily Express if the Woking outfit should be concerned about rumours Ferrari could target him to replace Sebastian Vettel for next season, Brundle answered in the affirmative.
“Yeah, if he’s out of contract. I’ve always championed Carlos, and to McLaren when they weren’t sure about taking him.
“I think he’s got his dad’s kind of sporting winning mentality — a double World Rally Champion of course, his dad.”
Asked who else could be in the running for Vettel’s seat, Brundle mentioned Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, but went on to reveal just how highly he thinks of the Spaniard.
“I think Sainz was very close [in performance] to [Max] Verstappen when they were at Toro Rosso. It got political. It got dad and lad against each other from both sides of the garage and they went with Verstappen, which I think you would do all day long.
“But I think Carlos was a really good match for him.”
Sixth in the 2019 driver’s championship with 96 points, Sainz was comfortably the best driver outside the big-three teams, although on his part, he is not letting the hype get to him.
“Of course it’s nice to hear that people in Italy talk about me and a possible transfer to Ferrari. I only see that as a compliment. But logically, I am mainly focused on McLaren right now,” he said during preseason testing in February.