Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Sainz enjoying “almost perfect” start to life at McLaren

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says he’s very please with how his first season has gone for McLaren so far.

What they say

Sainz is comfortably leading the midfield in the drivers’ championship:

For myself I think it’s been a good first season at McLaren I think we’ve hit every target or we probably exceeded expectations and targets for this season.

I’ve performed well when I’ve had to perform well. Sundays are going really, really well and I’m enjoying myself. I’ve had a very good relationship with all the team. We’ve managed to create a great team atmosphere.

So I must say it’s been, up until now except for those three consecutive zeroes that I have now and the three consecutive zeroes that I got at the beginning of the season, apart from that it’s almost perfect I would say.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

A lot of you reckon the plan for ‘qualifying races’ doesn’t make sense:

Sprint races are supposed to be full of excitement and action because there’s a need to make up positions for the Feature race. But if the cars cannot overtake anyway, and there’s no room for strategy because it’s such a short race, it’ll be the dullest thing ever. Not to mention drivers not wanting to risk it everything because points are awarded in the feature race.

I find this whole thing more disappointing than anything else over the years. We were promised a change, a revolution in F1. And they are trying to do that for 2021. Yet they are pushing forwards with the same talk about gimmicks (and some being implemented) that we all suffered during ‘the evil years’ of Bernie.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 16 comments on “Sainz enjoying “almost perfect” start to life at McLaren”

    1. In my opinion the sprint race should be in Q3 place. So you have the Q1 and Q2 as they are now. In the Q3 you have a reverse grid sprint race, reversing positions from 1-5 and 6-10. That would be very interesting.

      1. BUT in tracks like Monaco it’s interesting to keep the original format for qualifyings.

      2. @miani Oh, I quite like this—that’s the best take on a reverse grid qualifying I’ve heard yet. And I especially like the idea of having multiple formats.

        The more I think about it, the better it sounds, with the FIA able to pick and choose which format to use on a track-by-track basis. I think a Q3 sprint race would neatly solve the Q3 issues we have at tracks like Monza and Baku. But like you say, a pure time trial approach—like we have now—is great at tracks like Monaco. So why not keep both?

        I don’t think the current shootout format is sacred—I look back pretty fondly at the old 12-lap format and even the single lap format as well. Q3 at Monza this year showed that no qualifying format is perfect for every track. If we’re seriously considering tweaking it for that particular track, you might as well go all the way and look at other formats for other tracks, too. I’d hate to lose the thrill of those on-the-edge runs at the end of Q3 in the current format—so why not keep it, but along with one or two other formats to spice things up?

        1. I think an exciting format for Monaco Q3 would be to use an average of 3 laps. Like Indy 500 does. So drivers would have to push 100% for 3 laps. It’s the spirit of what make Monaco interesting, drivers pushing to the limits.

      3. In Q3 you have a reverse grid sprint race, reversing positions from 1-5 and 6-10.

        I’m not sure I’m a fan of this approach… so someone who qualifies P5 starts on pole, but the unlucky chap in P6 starts tenth. It seems quite arbitrary.

        1. I agree with you that’s a problem, maybe you can reverse from 1-10. It’s better than a reverse grid in the feature race, because in the sprint race you give a chance to faster drivers to recover some positions.

    2. What would be the ‘correct way’ to phrase the question about the subject of reverse-grids then?

      But the British GP already isn’t paired with another event on subsequent weekends, so how would the provisional date be a problem then? Although, as I pointed out back when the provisional calendar for next season came out, it’d be a win-win for all three, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, and Red Bull Ring if the British GP took place on June 28 instead followed by the Paul Ricard and Red Bull Ring on the 12th and 19th of July respectively or the other way round so that the French GP wouldn’t take place on the same weekend next year’s Tour de France commences because that happens in the same region/part of the country where the Paul Ricard circuit locates. An even better alternative though would be:
      Canada June 7
      Britain June 21
      France July 5 (or Austria)
      Austria July 12 (or France)

      1. I think the point is that ppl are pushing to move the British GP, and that is just not possible when 3-4 of the 4 days between the end of one weekend and the beginning of the next are spent waiting at the border clearing @jerejj.

      2. I forgot to add Azerbaijan July 26 Hungary August 2

    3. “I received a briefing from the government in the spring where we were told that any inbound HGVs would be kept waiting for three to four days for the first six to 12 months after a no-deal Brexit. It seems unlikely that the F1 paddock could set up in a week in that scenario.”

      Quite the understatement there

    4. Re: Reverse grid

      I may be missing some crucial point, but I fail to understand the benefits of reverse grid. The situation at the end of Q3 in Monza was considered by many a farce and a disgrace (I actually found it amusing). Well, if reverse grid is implemented, you can expect 24 cars going around as slowly as possible. Is that somehow supposed to be more entertaining? Perhaps for those technical minded – watching drivers expertly nursing their cars as near to the anti-stall kick-in as possible.

      1. I think the “reverse grid” they are mentioning is in the sense that the grid for the qualifying race would be the reversed championship standings. Sunday’s race grid would be defined by the qualifying race results.

        1. And the race results would be reversed by stewards post-race, to make viewers stay for more commercials! So much genius level IQs in F1 and nary a bit of common sense.

          1. It makes absolutely no sense but I won’t complain if I can watch 2 races per weekend. Bring on the chaos I say!

    5. Whats wrong with qualifying?!

      Surely there are better things for them to focus on.

    6. One thing I haven’t heard mentioned with regards to a Qualifying Race is crash damage. There’s usually not a lot of crashing in Qualifying but in a race that would determine grid slots, it’s almost a sure thing. With all the talk of cost cutting, this just seems to fly in the face of that.

    Comments are closed.