Tuesday 14 July at 09:35 :
Jul.14 (GMM) Carlos Sainz might be the first ever driver who regrets signing a Ferrari contract before even racing a car with the Prancing Horse logo.
That is the view of former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos, who says Spaniard Sainz faces the prospect of swapping a more competitive McLaren for a sluggish red car in 2021.
"Sainz is nearing the top of his game," Doornbos told Top Gear Nederland.
"I can't imagine there was ever someone who wasn't happy with a Ferrari contract, but maybe he is the first," said the Dutchman.
Indeed, Ferrari is not just in crisis with its 2020 car, the coronavirus situation means that teams must field almost exactly the same car next year.
"There is no pace in the engine after last year's scandal - they've already lost nine tenths there. But the car is also not balanced," Doornbos said.
"You think it can't get worse for him, but then McLaren looks like it is on the way back to the top. The car is already good with the Renault engine and next year they will get a Mercedes.
"The team may just be at the top next year - and then Sainz hands in his seat," he said.
Doornbos also thinks that, contrary to the recent appearance of financial problems, McLaren is in good hands in terms of management.
"Zak Brown ran into a wall one week before the season started when the money ran out," he said. "But he was able to arrange new financing in record time - less than a week.
"You have to be a good businessman for that. Then they arrive at the first race and immediately take a podium. I think next year you will see the papaya paintwork covered with big, new sponsors.
"It makes me think," said Doornbos. "Is it not time for a change of the guard at Red Bull? McLaren hired new staff and grew enormously.
"Adrian Newey has done some fantastic things at Red Bull, but maybe it's time to look beyond him. Because currently the problem for them is not the driver, it's the car."