Success for Sainz at McLaren likely years away, says Button

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Former McLaren driver Jenson Button believes the team's new recruit Carlos Sainz is likely in for a long wait before he can target a race win with the Woking-based outfit.

On loan to Renault this season, the Red Bull driver was facing a dead end with the French outfit after its successful bid for Daniel Ricciardo.

The 23-year-old was then expected to return to the Red Bull mother-ship, but perhaps barred by the energy drink company's preference for Pierre Gasly, Sainz chose to join McLaren where he will be replacing F1 retiree Fernando Alonso.

For Button however, Sainz's options for 2019 were likely very limited.

"It’s good news but is it stepping up, you know?" asked Button.

"He was racing for the works Renault team, who are performing very well this year. He’s moving to McLaren, whether it’s the right move I don’t know.

"He obviously didn’t have the option to race at Renault this year with Daniel moving there, so I guess it’s the right decision."

The 2009 world champion, who spent seven years with McLaren believes team and driver will have their work cut out for them as the outfit digs in to try and restore its former lustre.

"I don’t think the pace of the car is going to turn around for next year, it’s going to be difficult, because they’ve dropped a long way back," said Button.

"It is a big team, it is a team that has won multiple world championships, so they will find a way back. But it’s going to take a little bit of time, I think.

"He needs to understand that it’s 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."

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