Despite the McLaren F1 Team having a much improved 2019 campaign, Carlos Sainz Jr. does not believe the team will break away from the midfield pack in the second half of the season.
McLaren currently sit fourth in the Constructors’ Championship after the first twelve races of the season, with Sainz himself sitting seventh in the Drivers’ Championship, thanks mainly to a strong run of races that have culminated in a pair of fifth place finishes in the German and Hungarian Grand Prix.
The team has already exceeded its points tally of 2018, where Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne could only muster sixty-two points between them, with Sainz and Lando Norris having already secured eighty points in twelve races.
They currently sit a comfortable thirty-nine points clear of fifth placed Scuderia Toro Rosso in the Constructors’ Championship, but Toro Rosso, Alfa Romeo Racing, Renault F1 Team, Racing Point F1 Team and Haas F1 Team are all closely matched on track and are all involved in the battle that McLaren currently head.
Sainz hopes McLaren are able to improve their car across the remaining nine races of the season, but the Spaniard knows it will be difficult to pull away from the chasing pack as they will also bringing updates and new components to each race.
“I don’t think we are going to be able to break out of the midfield in the second half of the season,” said Sainz to Motorsport.com. “We might bring a few tenths to the car which will be great, but everyone else is going to bring them, so we need to be careful.”
Sainz says the most important thing McLaren need to do in the remaining events is learn more about the MCL34 in order to arrive in 2020 with an even better machine so they can then look at closing the gap to the three teams ahead of them.
“What we need to make sure is that we learn the right steps to do on the car this year and learn them for next year,” said the Spaniard. “That is the main target for the second half of this season: learn about this car to make sure that we put all the things in the right place for next year’s car.”