Carlos Sainz has said that he and McLaren cannot “afford to sit back in 2020” as the team looks to stay ahead of the midfield this season.
After a disappointing 2018, in which McLaren finished ninth in the Constructors’ championship, the Woking-based team had a much improved season in 2019, ending the year as the fourth best team.
A strong season for the former world champions was capped off with a season best result of third, giving Sainz his first ever Formula 1 podium.
But, although McLaren ended the year fourth in the constructors’ championship, the team are fully aware of how tight the midfield is and Sainz is keen for McLaren to push on in order to avoid dropping back down the order in 2020.
Speaking at the launch of the new Mclaren MCL35, Sainz said: “The solid jump forward we made last season was a huge motivation but, at the same time, a strong reminder of how tight the fight continues to be in the midfield.
“We can’t afford to sit back in 2020 if we want to close the gap to the top.
“The ambition is to push myself and the team to take another step forward this season, and I’m looking forward to Barcelona testing and continuing the positive momentum we started last year.”
In a bid to ensure that McLaren are fighting towards the front of the grid this season, Sainz confirmed that the team has worked hard to improve all areas of the car, and that despite there being new regulations for 2021, the car is more than a continuation of last year’s MCL34.
“I’ve followed very closely the making of the MCL35 this winter and I know how much effort and passion we’ve put into it.” commented Sainz.
“Many may consider 2020 to be just a gap year between the old and the new regulations, a mere continuation of 2019 into 2021.
“However, at McLaren, we pushed the ‘reset’ button after the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi and we’ve worked extremely hard to try and improve every single detail of our car.”