Sainz: McLaren "less dependant on qualifying" because of race trim

09-10-2019 16:03 | Updated: 09-10-2019 17:19
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Sainz: McLaren less dependant on qualifying because of race trim

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz has explained his team's success this season has mainly come through the MCL34's race trim rather than qualifying performance, with the Spaniard currently topping the midfield in the standings in seventh place.

Sainz has been the leading scorer for McLaren this season next to rookie Lando Norris, who does lead the qualifying duel within the team. The Woking-based side are 'best of the rest' in fourth place in the constructors' standings on 101 points as 2019 is the first time in five years the team reached the 100-point mark.

In fifth place are Renault with 68 points, meaning with just five races to go, it really is McLaren's to lose in the midfield battle.

Speaking on what the team's strengths are, Sainz explained how the MCL34 always comes alive on race day, when the points get handed out.

"We are less dependent on our qualifying performance," the 25-year-old explained to F1technical.net

"We manage to extract on Sundays the extra that we might be missing in qualifiyng. It was not the case in Hungary, because we were the best of the rest in qualifying [there], but there have been lots of races where we have been out-qualified by midfield rivals, and we have still scored lots of points.”

Even though McLaren have seemingly improved as a team in terms of pace as the season progressed, Sainz denied there have been big upgrades over the course of the year, as he thinks the team just improves that little bit extra each weekend.

"I think we have done big improvements compared to last year," he did admit.

"During the [2019] year, we haven’t done massive steps compared to other people. It is true that since Canada, we have more often hit our targets which is to be in the points. We haven’t [brought] massive upgrades to the car, we haven’t changed the car around. We have just brought very little stuff to every race.”

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