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Sainz admits McLaren debut 'hurts'

  • Published on 19 Mar 2019 13:30
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Carlos Sainz says that he endured a painful debut with McLaren, as his weekend was plagued with poor luck.

The McLaren driver dropped out of Q1 on Saturday as he got held up by traffic and couldn't set a faster time on a rapidly improving track.

In the race, Sainz became the first retiree of the season, as a fire started at the rear of his car due to an MGU-K issue, just nine laps into the Australian Grand Prix.

Reflecting on his race, Sainz is sure he could have bagged points if he wasn't hit with reliability problems.

"A bad start to hopefully a good season," he said. "We were recovering. I was doing the race I was asked to do, but this is Formula 1.

"A shame because you see where [Lance] Stroll finished, [Daniil] Kvyat was behind and still got a point, so there were definitely points to grab.

"This one hurts. It hurts the whole weekend because it was full of bad luck, but hopefully it's finished for the season.

"Everything that could happen to me, happened. Qualifying was a big setback for me because I had been very strong all weekend and I knew I could make it into Q3."

Sainz is hoping that the MGU-K issue that put him out of the race can be resolved quickly, adding that it was a problem that McLaren may have already had at pre-season testing.

"I think it's an issue we might have had in testing already, so they might know the cause and hopefully we can improve on that," he said.

"I trust Renault, they've done steps, so hopefully we can keep pushing."

Replies (3)

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  • It wasn't an optimal start at all, was it? But I think that was a freak error. Surely Renault doesn't still struggle with the MGU-K, after all these years? At the very least it wasn't on McLaren. Mind, raise the limit back to 4 components of each, FIA. 3 of each is madness. Or have 15 allocations in total, and allow them to mix and match as they please.

    • + 0
    • Mar 19 2019 - 20:20
    • "Surely Renault doesn't still struggle with the MGU-K". They did a few months ago in the tail end of 2018 - the MGU-K delivered as part of the spec C engine was new, but troublesome and only used by Red Bull. That means the other 2 Renault powered teams still used the one from the start-of-2018-spec which was the same heavy and underpowered MGU-K from the start of 2016.
      So while we assume that should have changed, what, exactly, in Renault's service history to their F1 customers, would make that assumption likely to be true, apart from the fact that time has progressed?
      Where are the press releases about their new 5kg lighter MGU-K etc. etc. etc.?? Wouldn't Abiteboul be clamouring the merits of their new spec from the rooftops, if he had something to clamour about?

      • + 0
      • Mar 19 2019 - 21:00
    • Nothing really, but considering they've had about 5 years now to solve it, and with the MGU-K being one of the more famous achilles' heels the Renault package have, I'd find it a tad incompetent if they, somehow, have gone on for all this time without fixing the reliability of it aswell as the power. Abiteboul have talked as always, he loves to talk, but I don't really tend to care what he says anyway.

      • + 0
      • Mar 20 2019 - 05:27

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