Sainz: Strong first half helped by reaction to early troubles


McLaren's Carlos Sainz says his strong performance in the first half of 2019 is partially rooted in his measured reaction to the troubles that undermined the start of his season.

"Keep calm and carry on" was Sainz's motto at the outset when the Spaniard was sidelined by mechanical issues in Melbourne and Bahrain, and then failed to score points in China.

Since Baku however, the McLaren driver has never finished out of the top-ten on Sunday, save for a P11 achieved in Canada.

Sainz's consistency has contributed 58 of the 82 points McLaren currently enjoys in the Constructors' standings, in which the Woking-based outfit sits a solid 'best of the rest' fourth.

"Given how bad the first two races start and how unlucky I was during the first two or three races, to be where I am at the moment is really positive," Sainz said.

"The key there was don't overreact to the first races, just kept doing what I was doing. Then the luck turned around and the results start coming. Since Baku, it's been a very strong season."

"It took me less time to adapt to the McLaren than it did to adapt to the Renault.

"We are still learning the car, and I am still learning. You saw in Silverstone in the car you can surprise now and then.

"From Australia, FP1, FP1, FP3 I was fast. In Bahrain, I was fast in qualifying, I was fighting Max for a top-five place. I was there throughout those races but somehow the results never clicked.

"But as soon as the result arrived in Baku, suddenly everything started coming together."


Regarding Sainz's ability to quickly adapt to his new environment when he moved from Renault to McLaren at the end of last year, the 24-year-old says his smooth transition was the result of some thorough preparation.

"I felt with McLaren, we've put together a plan to make sure I adapted quickly," Sainz said.

"We knew we had a two-year contract and the engineers came up with a plan during winter to make sure we arrived at the first race as prepared as possible.

"I had 100 laps in Abu Dhabi where I managed to learn a lot. Those 100 laps were all planned in order to help me know the car for the next year.

"That preparation and planning ahead helped a lot."

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