McLaren driver Carlos Sainz has indicated he will want to stay at Woking beyond the end of his 2020 contract after a very impressive first season in papaya for the Spaniard.

In an official Formula 1 poll voted on by the drivers themselves, Sainz was named the fourth-best of the 2019 season.

And the 25-year-old wants to continue to push ahead in 2020, “There are no exact objectives for 2020 but it is very important that the progression does not stop and we continue to close up with the teams ahead.

“2020 is a year to follow the current trend, then for 2021 and 2022, we do not know what will happen. My concern going into the holidays is zero,” he said at a sponsor event in Madrid.

Sainz admits that finishing sixth once again in the F1 drivers’ championship, and scoring another podium, will be “difficult” for 2020.

“The beginning of the season will be similar to the end of 2019, with three dominant teams, but hopefully we will be the first to manage to reduce that one-second gap to those teams.”

And then, at the end of next year, his current contract with McLaren expires.

“It’s too early to talk about 2021,” he said. “But I do not hide that I am very happy with this project and another step forward is going to motivate me even more. At this time there is no reason to look anywhere else because I am very happy at McLaren.

“2021 is a great opportunity for everyone – for F1, the teams, the drivers – to make a start from scratch. Hopefully, it will be more competitive and even more fun.”

He thinks part of the reason for his own surge in form this year was because of the stability provided by McLaren, “My first three years at Red Bull were for one year at a time, and although they were very good, I didn’t have the stability and the medium-term project that I now have with McLaren.

“It also means not having to fight with my teammate season by season, because every year someone was going to Red Bull and someone staying at Toro Rosso. Now I am next to Lando and we get along very well and I’m sure that is helping the team to move forward.

“I really wanted a situation like this because I knew I had potential,” added Sainz.

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