Carlos Sainz wants McLaren to focus on making further improvements in 2020 rather than keeping too much of its focus on its current car.
McLaren has enjoyed an impressive first part of the season, and currently sits comfortably in fourth place in the constructors’ championship with nearly double the amount of points of Toro Rosso in fifth. Although McLaren has often had the fourth-fastest car — especially in recent races — Sainz warns the midfield is too competitive to pull clear of and the team’s resources would be better off directed toward next year’s car.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to break out of the midfield in the second half of the season,” Sainz said. “We might bring a few tenths to the car, which will be great, but everyone’s going to bring them, so we need to be careful.
“What we need to do is make sure is we learn the right step to do on the car this year and learn them for next year. I think that’s the main target for the second half of the season: Learn about this car to make sure we put all the things in the right place for next year’s car.”
Sainz has finished fifth at each of the last two races to extend a run that has seen him finish in the top eight in all bar one of the past nine rounds, and the Spaniard says his own performances are made possible by the team around him.
“A good race team like McLaren helps for the consistency. I’m enjoying it a lot this year, having such a team behind me with that, so thank you to them because without them this consistency wouldn’t be possible.
“Since Baku I don’t know how many points I’ve got, but it’s been incredible. First few races we were very unlucky — things didn’t come together — but since Baku the hard work over the winter, the hard work in the factory in Woking, is paying off a lot. We just keep performing every weekend with great strategy, great pit stops. That’s how we should be and what we need to keep doing.”