Marko does not rule out Sainz as Verstappen's title challenger in 2022

20-01-2022 17:30 | Updated: 21-01-2022 09:10
Marko does not rule out Sainz as Verstappen's title challenger in 2022

Carlos Sainz, like Max Verstappen, made his debut in Formula 1 in 2015 at Toro Rosso. The Spaniard ultimately did not make it to Red Bull Racing, but via Renault and McLaren he eventually forced a contract with the iconic Ferrari. Helmut Marko, the man who gave Sainz the chance in the pinnacle of motorsport, is not surprised by the 27-year-old driver's good debut season with the Italian formation.

After two seasons at McLaren, Sainz was appointed by Ferrari to succeed Sebastian Vettel. The Spaniard was given the difficult task of replacing four-time champion Vettel and taking on Charles Leclerc. In his first year on behalf of Ferrari, he managed to immediately beat the widely acclaimed talent from Monaco in the world championship.

Sainz makes impression

Marko was asked by Auto Bild about Sainz's performance. "Carlos is a very good driver, that he left Red Bull was not because of his performance. In any case, he has shown that Leclerc is probably not the wonder boy that many thought he was." The advisor to the team of Verstappen and Sergio Perez believes that Leclerc is overrated.

Whereas Verstappen will make the switch to Red Bull in May 2016, an opportunity for Sainz remains out of reach. Starting with the 2017 United States Grand Prix, Sainz is loaned to Renault. In 2018, he is permanently recruited by the French formation, as there is no place at Red Bull due to the presence of Daniel Ricciardo. In 2019 Ricciardo leaves and Sainz should have been his successor, but the Madrid native has already signed with McLaren. The capabilities of Sainz were not the issue, because Marko says he was impressed.

Title chances at Ferrari

At Ferrari last year he did not have the chance to fight for the podium on a structural basis but next season that might be a different story. Marko is convinced that Sainz has the capabilities to compete for the title. "The new regulations make it difficult to make predictions for this season. But if Ferrari makes a big impact with the new car, Carlos can definitely compete for the title."

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