Carlos Sainz Jr. has described his results this season as “weird” as he sits eleventh in the drivers’ standings at the summer break.
The Spaniard has 30 points to his name but believes that does not reflect his performances in 2018.
“It’s been weird, because I was achieving a lot of points at the beginning of the year without being 100 per cent comfortable with the car, and working very hard to get it a bit back [to where I was comfortable],” Sainz was quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
Apart from a retirement at the British Grand Prix, Sainz hasn’t finished lower than twelfth and scored points in eight of the twelve races so far this season and feels Barcelona was the turning point for him.
“I think Barcelona was a good turning point, where I was able to get that stability, that confidence with the car,” he said. “And since then, a lot of things have happened to me on race day and the points suddenly are not coming, even if I’m pretty confident with the car.”
The French Grand Prix saw Sainz running in sixth with five laps to go before a power unit issue dropped him to eighth and issues like that makes Sainz feel his championship position does not tell the full story.
“Paul Ricard was a good example, where we have an engine issue and issues towards the end,” said the Spaniard. “We did a perfect weekend, then a good qualifying in Austria, and in Hockenheim with the old front wing, and running in the points always.
“But situations on Sundays have made me miss on quite a lot of points, and sometimes a championship doesn’t reflect the whole picture of the year.”
Sainz is heading into his final nine races at Renault Sport Formula One Team as he goes to McLaren F1 Team next season.
The Spanish driver is aware that tyre wear will continue to be a big issue for the team for the remainder of the year, even though they have been more cautious since problems occurred the Austrian Grand Prix.
“Since then we’ve been a lot more cautious and a lot more realistic that we do have a problem with tyre wear come Sunday, or come Friday and we make it better for Sunday,” said Sainz. “So we are working very hard on it, and some races will be better, some races will be worse.
“But at least we know why we have the issue, and how to approach it. Still I think we need to manage more than our direct competitors, but I think we at least have the understanding and the knowledge of it.”