Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

McLaren target sixth in championship for Sainz

2019 F1 season

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McLaren is targeting sixth place in the drivers’ championship for Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Sainz lies seventh in the drivers’ championship on 66 points with five races remaining. He is three points behind Pierre Gasly, who moved from Red Bull to Toro Rosso during the summer break.

However Alexander Albon, who took Gasly’s place at Red Bull, has moved to within 14 points of the McLaren driver. Team principal Andreas Seidl admits it will be difficult to keep Albon behind.

“For the drivers championship clearly our target with Carlos is to score P6,” he said. “There’s two main competitors which is Gasly and Albon. Albon is catching up quickly So hopefully we can keep this fight up as long as possible.”

If Sainz finishes sixth it will be the first time a driver from outside Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull has finished in the top six positions since 2015.

“It’s impressive what Carlos is pulling off not just in qualifying but also what he’s doing race by race,” said Seidl. “He was really unlucky in six races so far this year not scoring points. But whenever we gave him the machine to battle it out the track. He’s delivering and that’s impressive.”

Seidl, who joined McLaren earlier this year, said he was immediately impressed by Sainz’s technical feedback.

“Carlos, you could see straight away, the first time I met him, that he has experience already. He has seen two other teams already in the past which brought him a lot of experience which he and then several seasons on his back already.

“So he was a key element in terms of guiding [and] driving the development of the car since his first test last year in Abu Dhabi.

“Sometimes when you hear him speaking you think he has an engineering degree as well. Which is great, but at the same time he is still young as well. He keeps learning and developing together with us as a team.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 15 comments on “McLaren target sixth in championship for Sainz”

    1. Sainz has had a classic “Perez” season. Not really that quick in qualifying, but is always there or thereabouts in the race, and a real model of consistency, with the ability to pluck some opportunistic results when others fall into misfortune. I still don’t rate him as an elite driver, but I’d put him in the same bracket as Bottas, Hulkenberg, Perez, Ricciardo, which is no mean feat whatsoever.

      1. @mashiat Indeed, and he’s had a lot of misfortune himself, especially in the early races and also the three races before Russia.

      2. You don’t rate him, but I do, and others following F1 for multiple decades like me. Put him in a top 3 car, because he has driven as well as the top 3 drivers in the top teams. Also those drivers you mentioned, they at times have been top 3 drivers in the sport too. Unfortunately f1 isnt a spec series so fan views like your views are biased. I’ll put Verstappen in your list, cos all your mentioned 2nd tier drivers have had as good or better seasons than verstappen, where they all out drove their car. The hardest to judge driver wise are the top 2 teams, because car performance enhances their race result and driving speed compared to other drivers. If you look beyond results, Sainz might well be the best driver in F1 currently.

        1. My views are supposedly biased, but yours aren’t?

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            5th October 2019, 18:52

            Sainz in my opinion has been extremely solid, but not exactly special this year. McLaren seems to be a long way behind the top 3 teams and quite some way ahead of the rest most of the time too. Therefore not really getting challenged. His team mate has also out qualified him very often and and while i do agree Sainz usually looks better in the races, it has likely sometimes looked better due to the fact Norris seems to be having some pretty awful luck.

            Based on previous seasons, Sainz really isn’t all that good. In 2017, he caused more retirements than any other driver despite Grosjean, Kvyat and several others being criticized for this sort of thing.
            Sainz indeed has been very good this year, but i don’t think his wheel to wheel racing is very good in general. There have been a lot of occasions in previous seasons where his spacial awareness has been pretty poor and have resulted in some very silly incidents. The reason why i think that has looked different this year is indeed partly because he has improved – but i also think that is is because he isn’t really getting challenged by other teams.

        2. Lmao! Did you just say Sainz is the best driver in F1? And you have the audacity to say someone else is biased

      3. Probably you think Ricciardo is slower than Vettel. That means nothing as well. Sainz is not super quick like Hamilton but he drives just like Alonso. He is super hard and benefits all chances in the race. His Spain and Monaco GP’s are enough to evaluate for this season. His consistency is different from Perez, as said before he drives like Alonso. His faults will decrease by experience.

        1. In that case he’s likely the 2nd best spanish driver.

    2. That isn’t going to happen if Albon keeps on finishing at least fifth/sixth, though.

      1. There is no harm in trying and know the season has been in terms of finishing order for drivers from top-3 teams its doable but hard.

      2. Not sure if you read carefully but their target is p6, not p5, hence they can afford to fall behind albon and aim to beat gasly, it’s a combination of a good performance from sainz and mclaren and bad performance at red bull by gasly that allows this, 12 races in red bull are a lot!

        1. Ah, nevermind, my bad, need an edit button!! Having this year’s red bull had 3 different drivers even if you beat one you still got 6 ahead of you, as albon is performing.

    3. If he does it he really deserves champion statues

    4. how many points did he loose in those bad 6 races ?? if not for this bad luck could he have now more than 100 pts ?

    5. If renault had andreas seidl instead of cyril,i think mclaren would have had a closer gap to redbull and redbul won t have been cruising so much in 3rd place, seidl>cyril

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