Carlos Sainz Jr. says that the Shanghai International Circuit will give the McLaren F1 Team a better indicator of the performance of its 2019 Formula 1 car.
McLaren enters the Chinese Grand Prix weekend on the back of its first points finish of the season in Bahrain, through Sainz Jr’s team-mate Lando Norris, and two encouraging performances from both cars in the first two races.
Sainz Jr’s start to his McLaren career has been hit with reliability problems, leading to a 100% retirement rate in 2019 so far.
The Spaniard took positives away from Bahrain, a race that saw him battle with Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen for a spot in the top five in the early stages before contact between the two ex-Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mates left the McLaren with damage.
“I head to China recharged and ready to fight again,” Sainz Jr. said.
“Our pace was strong in Bahrain, both in qualifying and especially at the start of the race.
“Unfortunately, I got hit and later on had to retire the car due to the gearbox, but I prefer to take the positives to China where the varied layout of the Shanghai circuit will give us an even better idea of the MCL34’s performance.
“[The track] should offer up some exciting racing opportunities.”
McLaren also holds the record of being the second most experienced team in F1 at the point of the 1,000th world championship Grand Prix, with China set to be its 849th race entry – only Scuderia Ferrari can boast more entries.
Sainz Jr. said that having the chance to compete the landmark race, the 84th F1 race of his career, is a “huge honour” and one that his is delighted by.
“It’s also a huge honour to be competing in the 1,000th Formula 1 race,” he added.
“This sport has been my passion since I was very young, so to be part of such an important milestone is a proud moment for me.”