We move on to life at McLaren, having spent years in and around Milton Keynes with Red Bull and just over a year based in Enstone. Where does he live? “In the UK, less than an hour from the factory.” As it turns out, Carlos lives in Weybridge, less than half an hour away from his Guildford-based team-mate Lando Norris.
Does he enjoy working at the MTC, we ask? “Yeah. Maybe the first ten days that I went into work at the office, I would get there ten minutes earlier to stare at the cars, you know, and enjoy the walk – it’s such a special place.
And how does McLaren compare to Renault? “Don’t get me wrong, it was great team with a lot of history, a team that my idol Fernando Alonso became world champion with, so it was quite an important step in my career. I think McLaren is just different, you know – not better, not worse, it’s just different.”
The move to McLaren has brought with it company car benefits, too, something Carlos is extremely happy with. “That’s been a very good step in my career. Today I drove in my 720S. We also get the Renault Megane RS from Renault because they’re our engine manufacturer, so I still have a Megane RS parked next to my McLaren at home.”
Which car does he drive most? “Honestly? I try to take care of the 720S – I don’t use it a lot. Also, because the UK roads, I’m sorry to say, but they are not the best for this kind of car. They are bumpy… No criticism at all, but I think I would enjoy the 720S back in Spain! Still, I take it out quite a lot to go to the factory, to go for dinner sometimes. I enjoy it.”