Carlos Sainz Jr. feels the 2019 Renault power unit is the step forward the French manufacturer needed two years ago as they find themselves much closer to the pace of Mercedes and Ferrari than they were.
Sainz, who has moved away from the works Renault F1 Team to join the Renault-powered McLaren F1 Team for the 2019 season, was impressed and encouraged by the speed jump seen by the power unit this season that should make it possible to fight with those around them.
Throughout his Formula 1 career that began at Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2015, Sainz has been using Renault power, and the step forward is pleasing for the Spaniard as he attacks his fifth campaign in the championship.
“I feel a step in the right direction,” Sainz is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I still think we are a bit behind the Ferrari and Mercedes engines, but it definitely feels like we have something to fight with now, finally.
“I have done four years in Formula 1, all those four years has been 10km/h down on all the straights. So finally, to be turning up to Melbourne and to be just 2/3km/h down maybe on the top teams, is a really, really encouraging scenario.
“They seem to have clear ideas of how to develop the engine during the year so that gives some positive vibes also. I would praise Renault in that sense because it finally seems like they’ve done the step that we were needing two years ago.”
Unfortunately, Sainz was an early retiree from the Australian Grand Prix due to a suspected MGU-K failure, but the Spaniard has faith that Renault will make steps to prevent the issue from reoccurring in the future.
“I trust Renault, they’ve done steps, so hopefully we can keep pushing,” said the McLaren driver.