Carlos Sainz has already been in touch with Fernando Alonso about McLaren’s car and expects to discuss the project more thoroughly with the double world champion over the holidays.
Alonso won’t race in Formula 1 in 2019, instead focusing on his quest for the Triple Crown with another entry at the Indianapolis 500. While the Indy attempt keeps Alonso involved at McLaren, Sainz effectively replaces his fellow Spaniard and says the pair have already spoken about last year’s car following his McLaren debut at the Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi.
“We’ve sent each other a couple of voice notes regarding the balance of the car in the test, how did it compare to the Renault, etc.,” Sainz said at the launch of the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition cell phone. “We haven’t sat completely around a table and discussed the direction of the team or what’s going to happen or where the team is going.
“But we’ve sent each other voice notes commenting on car balance, the things we like or don’t like, etc. That’s all I can tell for the moment. I imagine I will see him in the next two weeks probably back in Spain and we will probably talk a bit more in detail then than a couple of voice notes.”
The possibility of Alonso testing the 2019 car appeared to increase during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, where McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown suggested it could be a beneficial move for the team. While Sainz doesn’t want to give up seat time, he says he will understand the reasons from a McLaren point of view if Alonso does drive the car.
“I don’t know (if it would be beneficial), because I’ve never worked with Fernando. For sure it’s something that is in McLaren’s interests or also Fernando’s interests to keep himself active.
“For me it’s a decision more up to the management, but I wouldn’t see it with bad eyes, I would see it as a good thing to have a driver like Fernando comparing cars. So let’s see what happens.”