Carlos Sainz Jr. ended pre-season testing with an impressive one hundred and sixty-three laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday, and the Spaniard now feels ready to get the race season underway next month in Australia.
The McLaren F1 Team driver was able to complete the remaining items on his check list as well as complete long runs and race simulations, with Sainz thanking his team for their efforts to get the Renault-powered MCL35 ready for testing.
“We’ve ended testing with a good day,” said Sainz. “In the morning we managed to tick off some test items I still had left to do, and we managed to make some conclusions and get a clear read of the car.
“The afternoon was more about long runs and race simulations, testing the car in different conditions, and again this felt like a decent run. Thanks to the whole team for their hard work over the pre-season.
“I think we can say we are now ready for Australia and I can’t wait to get there.”
“It’s been a good and productive second test week for us” – Andreas Seidl
Andreas Seidl, the Team Principal of McLaren, says it has been a good second week of testing in Spain, with both Sainz and team-mate Lando Norris completing a good number of laps.
Seidl feels the testing programme was the best McLaren have had for a number of years, with almost perfect reliability and good signs of speed, which he hopes will be good news heading into the first race of the season next month.
“Pre-season testing 2020 completed,” said Seidl. “It’s been a good and productive second test week for us, with plenty of laps covered.
“We’ve introduced a number of new updates to the car throughout the week which have worked as expected. The conditions have been varied across the few days, particularly in terms of wind, but this has given us good variations in data.
“This test has been the best for McLaren for some time, with strong reliability enabling us to complete our programme as planned and collect valuable information for analysis. We head to Melbourne feeling prepared for the start of the season, with good information on areas we need to develop and a good understanding of the work to be done.”
“We knew coming here that 2020 was shaping up to be a competitive season”
Seidl says he was expecting the lap times to be close in Spain and so it proved, with all ten teams showing strengths across the six days of testing.
Heading into the Australian Grand Prix, Seidl says he is expecting the season to be a close one, particularly across the midfield, and he thanked both Sainz and Norris, as well as engine suppliers Renault, for their efforts across testing.
“We knew coming here that 2020 was shaping up to be a competitive season,” said Seidl. “This test has only reinforced that. The competition is so close and the fans can expect a tight and exciting battle – it will be a great season to watch.
“Thanks to the entire team, both here in Barcelona and back at the factory. Their hard work over the winter has enabled us to complete these strong pre-season tests. Thanks also go to Renault for their efforts and continued support.
“Finally, thanks to Carlos and Lando for their commitment throughout the winter and pre-season.”