Jenson Button has spoken about Carlos Sainz’s move to McLaren, and thinks that two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will obviously be a hard act for the Spaniard to follow. However, he thinks the team know Sainz can be part of changing their recent fortunes.

Speaking to media at the weekend’s WEC event in Silverstone, Button was asked about his thoughts on the move, and said: “It’s good, but is he stepping up? He was racing for the works Renault team and they were performing very well this year, so he’s moving to McLaren, but whether it is the right move, I don’t know. I think he obviously didn’t have the option to race at Renault next year with Daniel moving there.”

Speaking positively about the longer term prospects of Sainz being on board at the Woking team, Button said: “I don’t think the pace of the car is going to turn around for next year. It’s going to be difficult as they have dropped a long way back, but it is a big team, a team that have won multiple world championships. They will find their way back, but it’s just going to take a bit of time, I think.”

And what can Sainz do to assist bringing McLaren back to their former glory?

“He needs to understand that it is going to take a few years of working hard and making himself feel present, and making his opinion count, and hopefully moving the car forward. Obviously, Fernando has retired, and he knows what he is doing. He’s getting the best out of the car pretty much every weekend, so it is always going to be a hard act to follow, but they wouldn’t have chosen him if they didn’t think he could do it.”

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