Carlos Sainz Jr. said that he wishes to put a difficult Australian Grand Prix and McLaren F1 Team debut weekend behind him.
Sainz Jr. failed to make it out of the first stage of qualifying at Albert Park due to his final run being hindered by the limping Williams Racing car of Robert Kubica, before his race ended on lap nine of 58 with a suspected MGU-K failure.
The former Renault F1 Team driver had moved up to fourteenth place in the early stages of the race but suffered a power unit fire at the back of his MCL34, stopping in the pitlane entry zone.
He said that he had flushed the disappointment of Saturday’s qualifying session out of his system and believed that he was on course to enter the closely-contested battle for points.
The 24-year-old had been fighting with Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat, who finished the race ninth and tenth respectively.
“It’s been a weekend to forget,” bemoaned Sainz Jr.
“I think we lost the MGU-K, which was a shame as the race was going well.
“I’d put yesterday behind me and I was feeling positive going into today – I’d done everything I wanted to do: I made a good start, overtaking four cars, getting in the fight for the points and starting to attack the cars in front.
“The car felt good, we had strong pace and I was fighting with other cars that ended up in the points today, which shows us that points could have been possible.”
Team-mate Lando Norris started inside the top ten but fell out of contention for points in his prolonged scrap with his fellow rookie Antonio Giovinazzi.
Sainz Jr, who has taken over from compatriot Fernando Alonso as effective team leader at McLaren, expressed his want to erase the Australian weekend from his memory and move forward.
McLaren is looking to improve on a once-promising 2018 campaign with a more sustained midfield challenge, in the hope of returning back to the top five of the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2014.
“This one hurts, but this is Formula 1,” Sainz Jr. said.
“My season has started with a really unlucky weekend but hopefully we can start having more positive results from Bahrain onwards.
“I’m happy to put this one behind me and keep pushing.”