McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has claimed it is "only a matter of time" before Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz takes to the top step of the F1 podium.
Sainz joined Ferrari from McLaren at the start of the 2021 season and scored four podiums in his first campaign racing for the Scuderia.
His success resulted in the Spaniard ending the year fifth in the drivers' standings, behind only the two Red Bull and Mercedes drivers and despite other drivers who had changed teams struggling to adapt to new machinery.
"He’s a hell of a racing driver," said Brown when asked of his team's former driver.
"It’s only a matter of time until he starts winning grands prix.
"If he’s got a car underneath him capable of winning, Carlos will be on the top step of the podium for sure.”
Although McLaren has traditionally run with a world champion in its ranks, its recent line-ups of Sainz, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo has broken the mould.
Asked if he was flattered at Ferrari changing its strategy to a similar recruitment model, Brown replied: "I have not…obviously, I paid attention to them in the timing screens but there is not much you can do about what other people do.
“They’ve got two very good drivers. Carlos has done an outstanding job, that too was not a surprise."