Jenson Button is backing Ferrari new-boy Carlos Sainz to match teammate Charles Leclerc this season and beyond, following the Spaniard's slightly underwhelming debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Leclerc finished 5th in F1's season opener on Sunday, while Sainz could only manage to come home in 8th position - behind both McLarens. Nevertheless, the 2009 world champion is backing Sainz to come good and to take the fight to the young Monegasque driver.
"I do think Carlos will match Leclerc," Button told Sky Sports F1.
"I'm speaking to the McLaren engineers, you know, they say that basically, Carlos is an engineer, and that he's great. He's not letting his emotions get in the way of what the car can actually achieve and he's not overdriving it.
"We saw that all weekend, he's a clever guy, so they have a great pair of drivers right there."
Paul Di Resta was equally optimistic about Sainz's prospects at the team, as he believes the two drivers can help to push the team to new heights in the future.
Ferrari aren't expected to be challenging for race wins in 2021, but with the pair on board, the former Force India driver is predicting a bright future for the Italian team.
"They've got two guys that are definitely in the fight. They're up against each other, they're pushing each other and they've publicly said they're pushing each other," Di Resta stated.
"I'm just very excited to see how they're gonna go and how much they can keep moving on and keep developing."