McLaren aiming to close gap to under 1 second on Mercedes says Sainz

20-02-2020 18:03
by Matt Gretton
General
McLaren aiming to close gap to under 1 second on Mercedes says Sainz

Carlos Sainz says the new McLaren car is a "decent" challenger after spending his first stint in the cockpit yesterday. During Thursday's session, Lando Norris was behind the controls and finished 10th on the timesheet. 

It's always impossible to compare speed and time in pre-season testing, but Sainz is confident the team have improved over the winter. McLaren moved up the table to best of the rest during last season. 

"I think we have a decent car, which has had evolution on last year's car. We know that last year's car was a very good step on the previous car so we wanted to build on the 34 [2019 McLaren] and introduce new concepts this year. At the moment, we've just shaken down with 160 laps and we keep adding mileage to make sure it's reliable and as the test goes on we will introduce more performance running," Sainz told Sky Sports.

Pink Mercedes

Sergio Perez and Racing Point have looked very strong so-far in winter testing. They could well end up challenging McLaren and Renault for the 'best of the rest' spot in the constructors' championship come November. But Sainz has his sights higher up than that as he hopes to close the gap on the big three teams.

"I think you need to analyse everything carefully. You can see teams who have done big steps but for us, it's our distance to the top teams. We managed to get 1.2 seconds away, this year we want to be one second behind. We want to make sure McLaren keeps developing," Sainz added. 

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