Carlos Sainz Jr. urged the McLaren F1 Team to guard against complacency in the fight to head Formula 1‘s highly competitive midfield.
Sainz Jr. has scored points in each of the last three races, including two sixth place finishes in France and Great Britain, to help McLaren bolster its advantage to the Renault F1 Team and fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Spaniard is also the highest-scoring driver outside of the top three teams with 38 points from the first ten races of the season, 13 points ahead of his closest challenger Kimi Räikkönen and a further three ahead of rookie team-mate Lando Norris – who failed to score at his home grand prix at Silverstone last time out.
Sainz Jr. has recovered from an unlucky start to his McLaren career with two retirements in the first two races, but knows there’s still a lot of racing to come in 2019.
“It’s been an interesting first half of the season and I’m determined to keep pushing as hard as ever before the summer break,” said Sainz Jr.
“There is still a long way to go in the championship, but all our focus is on the next stop in Germany.
“Hockenheim is a classic track on the F1 calendar and we head there aiming to keep our momentum up.”
Sainz Jr. is yet to score points in a German Grand Prix, recording a best finish of twelfth with Renault in 2018, but finished on the podium twice at Hockenheim in a round of the Formula 3 Euroseries back in ’12 with Carlin.
He added that he has been in McLaren’s Woking factory since the British race weekend and praised the team for its efforts to maintain McLaren’s competitiveness relative to the midfield.
McLaren is working on improving the slow-speed performance of the MCL34, an area identified as the car’s weakest – which could pose problems in Hockenheim’s final sector that winds around the stadium section.
“I spent some time with the team back in the factory after the British Grand Prix,” Sainz Jr. added.
“Everyone back in Woking is working flat out and their efforts have been key to staying competitive within the midfield.
“Let’s keep up the good work.”