Gil de Ferran said the McLaren F1 Team tried their best to recover from the dramas of the opening lap of the Chinese Grand Prix last Sunday, but ultimately, the best they could achieve was a fourteenth-place finish for Carlos Sainz Jr.
Both Sainz and team-mate Lando Norris were involved in contact with Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat on the exit of turn six on lap one, causing damage to both MCL34’s, with both drivers hitting pit lane on the opening lap for repairs.
This left both firmly on the back foot but with little hope of points, but despite their disappointments – Norris retired from the race with just a handful of laps remaining whilst down in sixteenth position – sporting director de Ferran feels there were positives to take away from the Shanghai International Circuit, including extended knowledge about their 2019 car.
“Racing can be very cruel sometimes, and today it was,” said de Ferran last Sunday. “Obviously, the first-lap incident destroyed our race, but we tried to do our best and raced hard to the end.
“Despite it all, there were several positives to come from this grand prix, particularly our race pace, which was very competitive when compared to the guys that finished in the points.
“We also learned more about our car on this very different track, and now we look ahead to another fighting weekend in Baku.”
McLaren currently sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship after the opening three races of the season on eight points, which came as a result of Norris finishing sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sainz is yet to score his first points for the team since his switch from the Renault F1 Team.