McLaren midfield edge down to 'little stuff' at every race - Sainz


McLaren's Carlos Sainz says his team owes its solid grip on F1's midfield to "little stuff" brought to its MCL34 at every race rather than to a massive upgrade.

Slowly but surely, McLaren has pulled itself up from the depressed levels at which it lingered in the past few seasons.

The progress recorded last year - its first with engine supplier Renault - has been followed by more improvements in 2019, with the Woking-based outfit finally achieving a productive balance between performance and reliability.

Its headway this season has put the team at the top of F1's fiercely competitive midfield, 34 points clear of Renault in the Constructors' standings, a margin it hopes to sustain heading into the final four races of 2019.

Sainz sees McLaren's excellent performance level rooted in his team's diligence and steadiness regarding car development.

"We haven’t done massive steps compared to other people," said the Spaniard, quoted by

"It is true that since Canada, we’ve hit our target more often, which is to be in Q3 and in the points, but we haven’t done a massive upgrade to the car.

"We haven’t changed the car around, we haven’t found something that has switched the car on. We’ve just brought little stuff to every race.

"When everything is still within half a tenth, you know you haven’t done a massive step."

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) McLaren MCL34. 27.09.2019.

While McLaren has proceeded very efficiently on the development front, Sainz's own consistency and solid performances have also played a significant part in his team's resurgence.

"I just get to know the car now in the second half of the season," he said.

"In qualifying, I’m understanding the car a bit better, I’ve set it up more to my liking. It just feels like everything is coming a bit more together in this second half."

Finally, the well-chronicled bromance enjoyed by the McLaren boys and the atmosphere it has helped instill in the team is another asset that has pushed the papaya squad forward according to Sainz.

"I must say between Lando [Norris] and myself, and all the engineers and mechanics, we’ve managed to create a very good atmosphere at the circuit," Sainz said.

"We’ve managed to find something a bit different in the paddock, something that is really working well, and something that I am really hoping to keep for the future.

"I’m convinced it is helping the team’s performance."

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