McLaren have denied that they will bring incoming driver Daniel Ricciardo into the driver lineup for the remaining races of the 2020 season.
The Australian will depart Renault for McLaren next year in one of many changes to the grid, with Carlos Sainz heading from McLaren to Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, who is heading to Aston Martin (formerly Racing Point) from Ferrari.
There has been speculation that some of the drivers could move to their new teams early, but McLaren have put those notions to bed, with team boss Zak Brown keen to keep Sainz around for the rest of the season.
“We’re happy with our driver line-up this year, we’re happy with everyone else’s driver line-up this year,” Brown told news.com.au.
“I think we have two drivers that are doing an excellent job, and some other teams which have disruption in their garage.”
Brown also said that there is every chance that by moving on Sainz early, it could disrupt the team’s morale.
“So I think I want to continue the harmonious relationship we have going on right now,” he said.
Carlos & Lando GIFs as emojis. A thread.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 16, 2020
“I think if we were to consider changing that, it would maybe only be to the benefit of other teams that are maybe a bit more destabilized in the garage.”
McLaren have been on the improve in recent seasons, going from 9th in the constructors’ championship in 2017, to 6th in 2018 to fourth in 2019.
This year they currently sit third in the constructors this year, sitting only behind Red Bull and Mercedes, with Lando Norris securing his first podium-finish in his career and Carlos Sainz his second this season.
McLaren remain optimistic about their prospects beyond 2020 and the future of Formula One.
“Ultimately, our goal is to catch whoever is in first place and that’s been Mercedes for quite some time,” Brown said.
“We’re certainly encouraged that we are now racing Ferrari because we weren’t last year and haven’t been for quite some time.
“While we want to catch the three teams that are in front of us now, or in this instance, currently two teams, I think we need to pay a lot of attention and recognise that teams four, five, six and even seven right now, are all going to be serious contenders when the budget cap comes in (in 2022).”