Carlos Sainz has suggested that Max Verstappen might not, ever, become world champion if he is not in the right car at the right time.
With Verstappen and Charles Leclerc providing a glimpse of the future with a few superb duels over the past few races, fans and commentators have speculated that this could be the biggest rivalry of the next generation of drivers.
Sainz disputes this, though, and thinks he can hang with them if the cars become equal.
"I hope McLaren can build a car that Lando [Norris] and I can use to fight those guys one day," the McLaren driver told Motorsport.com.
“To assume that it will be between Verstappen and Leclerc is premature. I think the situation in Formula 1 can change enormously in 2021. It could very well be that we see other people fighting in front. It is just a matter of who is currently in the right car.
“If Verstappen joins the right team at the right time, he will win several world championships. But if he isn't, he won't be champion once. That's how it works in Formula 1, unfortunately."
Mercedes have dominated Formula 1 in the V6 hybrid engine era and are generally accepted to have the best car in 2019, too, as they have won eight out of the opening 12 races so far.
Sainz laments the fact, in his opinion, that the car is a bigger factor in winning than the drivers.
"That is very frustrating about this sport," he says about the best cars, instead of drivers, always winning.
“It doesn't matter to the athlete in Formula 1. It is not like a 100 meter sprint where the best always wins. I do believe that the best drivers normally end up in the best cars.
“The problem is that there are not enough good cars in Formula 1 to accommodate all good drivers.”
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