New McLaren driver Carlos Sainz has provided an opinion on the recent rumours circulating that Fernando Alonso could make a dramatic return to Formula 1 in 2020 after new engine regulations are introduced, after leaving McLaren in 2018 to pursue interests in other motorsport disciplines.
Sainz has switched from the works Renault team to McLaren for 2019, replacing his Spanish countryman Alonso.
He refused to give a real opinion on the new stories about Alonso's possible return to F1 for 2020, with the two-time world champion recently saying it would be his "greatest joy" to return and win another title.
"I am impressed with what he has been doing, but honestly I am not surprised because I know what he can do," Sainz said at a sponsor event in Madrid.
"It's too early to judge whether he will return to formula one. He's only just left," he smiled.
Sainz is happier to talk about himself, saying he evolved as a driver in 2018 and is hopeful McLaren can recover after a difficult few years.
"The new regulations open the door to teams that had a very bad time last year," he said.
"I have seen the car in the factory and I really like the design, even though it was only the engine and chassis that I saw.
"The bodywork was not on, but it is very elaborate and very different. At first sight, I like it. I've seen images of the design and the aerodynamics and I like it a lot.
"The really important thing now is the test results and that I like to drive it a lot," Sainz smiled again.
"2018 was a year of reflection for the team but they have learned what was wrong and are trying to return to where they were years ago.
"There now has been a restructuring and the result will be seen in the medium term. Everything will be ready to start the testing. I think it's going to be a good year for McLaren and for me," he added.