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Sainz: Renault battle shows McLaren's strong progress

  • Published on 04 Jul 2019 14:13
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Carlos Sainz believes McLaren's current battle with Renault shows how much the Woking squad has improved since 2018.

Last year, McLaren struggled towards the back of the field, but managed to secure sixth in the standings after Force India was excluded.

While the 2018 season started somewhat positively for the team, it slipped back as the year developed, scoring just two top ten finishes after the summer break.

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However it currently boasts a 20 point lead in the constructors' championship over Renault for fourth place, who ended the 2018 campaign in the 'best of the rest' fourth spot.

"With Renault, it's not to beat them this year, it's how much we've caught up with them from last year," Sainz said. "I remember at Paul Ricard [2018], Fernando was half a second to eighth-tenths off Renault. 

"There will be races where Renault is ahead, races where we are ahead but to be already in a battle with them is a good step forward."

McLaren motivation hasn't changed since 2018

Sainz linked up with McLaren at the end of the 2018 campaign, taking part in the post-season test at Abu Dhabi after racing for Renault that season.

The Spaniard says the motivation within the team now is the same as it was at the end of 2018, despite the poor year for McLaren.

"Compared to Abu Dhabi, I would say the spirit is exactly the same," Sainz confirmed. "I found the team was immensely motivated, wanting to go forward. I didn't find the team down on morale or anything like that.

"But now in the team and at the factory, the results are coming and everyone is getting a bit more excited.

"People are more motivated and giving that extra per cent thanks to the good results coming. That's the natural effect of positivity surrounding the team."

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  • Team McLaren
  • Points 266
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 101
  • Country Spain
  • Date of b. Sep 1 1994 (25)
  • Place of b. Madrid, Spain
  • Weight 66 kg
  • Length 1.78 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
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Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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