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F1: Carlos Sainz 'third-best' after Hamilton and Verstappen, says Nico Rosberg
20 November 2019 @ 12:04

ONLY Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are 'better' than Spanish Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Junior, according to retired racer Nico Rosberg.

Now the only Spanish presence at the élite end of motor racing after Fernando Alonso quit a year ago, Carlos (pictured) – whose dad, of the same name, was world rally driving champion in 1990 and 1992 – has yet to win a race, but his regular top 10 placings and his recent and first podium in Brazil show he has still to reveal the full extent of his talent, Rosberg considers.

The 2016 F1 world champion – who knocked the now-legendary British driver Hamilton into second place in the standings that year – said Sainz, 25, is 'doing a great job' and having 'an incredible season'.

He is 'racking up a heap of points with team McLaren', says the German-Finnish 'chip off the old block', son of 1980s' legend Keke Rosberg.

Nico, 34, who retired less than a week after becoming world champion three years ago, says he would 'go one step further' and consider Sainz to be 'in the top four' of the strongest drivers on the grid, beaten only, in his view, by The Netherlands' Verstappen and by Hamilton, and 'on a par with' Monaco's Charles Leclerc.

Although at present, Sainz is 'quite possibly ahead' of Leclerc, and is currently 'the third-best on the circuit'.

Madrid-born Sainz, who started out in 2010 in European and Pacific Formula BMW, Rénault Formula 2.0 British Winter Series and European F3 Open, among others, kicked off his Formula 1 career in 2015 with team Toro Rosso, with whom he finished in the top 10 in 26 races over two-and-a-half seasons.



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