Season Preview: 2020 FIA Formula 1 Season – McLaren F1 Team – Can they hold on to fourth?

by Ellie Jane

McLaren F1 Team managed to finally make a comeback to being a competitive team during the 2019 FIA Formula 1 Championship, it saw them take a fourth in the championship standings.

Sainz wanting to impress

Carlos Sainz Jr. was a new addition to McLaren for 2019; It saw him move from Renault Sport F1 Team after Daniel Riccardo took his seat. His first season at the British team was promising, notably, his performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix where he took third place on the podium after Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second penalty.

Credit: McLaren F1 Team

This season it is hoped that Sainz can carry on the same momentum and testing suggests that the team look good. Sainz will be wanting to pick up from where he left off last season after taking sixth in the championship, beating the likes of Red Bull Racing drivers Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly.

Sainz is out of contract at the end of the season, and with rule changes coming in, he will want to impress his team in a bid to keep his seat.

Norris hoping to mirror rookie season

Credit: McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris was one of the four rookies on the grid for last season, his first season was one that stood out, compared to the likes of George Russell, who struggle with the pace of the Williams Racing FW42. Norris had a number of promising results which took him to eleventh in the championship standings, with one of his best results coming in only his second race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he took sixth place.

Norris will be looking to repeat the results of his 2019 rookie season and continue to grow as the team continue with Renault for a final season.

Is the MCL35 as good as the MCL34?

The new McLaren MCL35 was revealed prior to the testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The new car is notably different, with a matte finish to the papaya coloured car along with a number of improvements.

Credit: Octane Photos Ltd.

However, McLaren seemed to be bang in the middle of the pack in testing, while Racing Point F1 Team may be McLaren’s biggest rivals this year, as they seem to be the best of the rest and fight it out for fourth place in the championship.

In testing, they managed to record the second-most laps of any team, as they completed 802. Showing that they may have a reliable car behind them, which is a positive sign for the team, as they head to Albert Park this week.

What does McLaren Expect For 2020?

The team will be hoping that in 2020 they manage to keep hold of fourth place in the championship. They also enter into their last year with Renault power, as they get ready for to revive their engine partnership with Mercedes for the 2021 season.

The duo of Norris and Sainz is looking promising for the British team as they are seen to have a good relationship off the track, but it, if the relationship was to dissolve, it could see a rivalry form within the team.

Credit: McLaren F1 Team

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