Carlos Sainz Jr. has been satisified with McLaren F1 Team‘s progress so far in the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship but insists that “every area of the car needs to be improved” if they want to catch the top three teams.
The Spaniard scored his points for his new team last time out in the 2019 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, courtesy of his seventh place finish.
Despite the incidents in the earlier races that he been involved in, the former Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda and Renault F1 Team driver thinks McLaren can improve the MCL34, regardless of where they are in the midfield.
“Pretty much every area I think we still need to improve,” Sainz said to Motorsport.com. “Because we look at Mercedes, we see where they are, we look at Ferrari, and then you look at the data and you see that every area of the car needs to be improved.”
Whilst the Woking-based team have made gains from last year’s car, Sainz believes the top teams are “a second quicker” than McLaren right now, explaining why the team need to “improve in every area”.
“If we compare ourselves against the midfield, then we only need to improve in little areas to come on top,” he said. “But we are not comparing ourselves against that. We are comparing ourselves to a car that is a second quicker at the moment than us. And that’s the target, to improve in every area.”
Other than McLaren’s pace, Sainz was relieved to have a stronger idea of how his car handles after the first three races that were incident-packed for him.
“On a personal level, this one is a bit of a relief after three races where I just had exactly the [same] pace,” Sainz added. “I had it [the speed] in the first three races but just for a reason that I still don’t understand, three consecutive runs of bad luck happened to us.
“We finally didn’t have any issues and we just demonstrated what we are capable of doing.”