For the second Grand Prix in a row, Carlos Sainz Jr. was forced to retire from the race, this time on lap 53 while his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris scored the first points for McLaren in the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Sainz started seventh on the grid after a strong qualification session and after a good start attempted to pass Max Verstappen for fifth position. The Dutchman fought back which resulted in the two drivers clashing through Turn 4 forcing the Spaniard to pit because of a puncture.
Sainz pitted twice after that as he ran at the back of the field, but he showed good pace in the MCL34 as he set the fastest lap of the race on lap 42, before he was overhauled by Charles Leclerc.
McLaren had a strong weekend and Sainz was in a position to score good points. “I’m very disappointed with how things turned out today. ” said Sainz following the race.
“I made a great start and had a lot of pace in the initial laps which meant I was running with the top-five cars. I attempted a move on the Red Bull, tried around the outside but was hit.”
Sainz pitted and rejoined last after the incident: “I got the worst of it with the puncture and ended up retiring the car for a different reason, so I’m obviously very disappointed. I was up for some good points but it didn’t end well.”
On the positive side, the car felt okay and Lando scored good points for the team, so congratulations. We’ll be back in China.”