Alonso “is a good role model” – Sainz Jr

by Gemma Bray

Double-world champion Fernando Alonso was a good role model for Carlos Sainz Jr during his rookie Formula 1 season, according to the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver himself.

The younger of the two Spaniards on the grid finished behind team-mate Max Verstappen in fifteenth in the Drivers’ World Championship with a total of eighteen points, but suffered a number of mechanical issues while running in competitive and points-paying positions.

For Alonso, 2015 was a disappointing year finishing the Championship down in seventeenth, only two points in front of the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson. His return to McLaren in 2015 was the worst season performance of his Formula 1 career since his debut season in the sport back in 2001 with Minardi.

The way in which Alonso dealt with his performance last year was a useful learning experience for Sainz.

“He’s a very good role model,” said Sainz to Autosport. “He’s now going through a tough moment in his career so it is interesting to see how he reacts, how he still switches on and how he deals with all these things.

“It’s interesting to see, to observe, to learn. Last year was all about learning. Fernando doesn’t need to advise me because I always look and observe him. He hasn’t come to me and said, ‘maybe try this or think about doing that’.

“Just by speaking to him in the drivers’ parade, as you see me always, or around in the paddock. I can learn from him. It’s been a bit like a mirror, where to see yourself.”

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