Carlos Sainz Jnr says the pace Lance Stroll demonstrated in his upgraded Racing Point during the Tuscan Grand Prix shows the team could be a bigger threat in the coming races.
Sainz said McLaren have out-scored Racing Point despite their rivals having a performance advantage so far this year.
“When we started the year we thought Racing Point definitely had a very big upper hand on us,” he said. “I think they were, after winter testing, clearly quicker than us.
“But then somehow we’ve managed to hold onto them and score some good results, even having our share of problems too.”
Stroll was the first Racing Point driver to benefit from the upgrade at the previous race and will remain the only one of their drivers with the new parts this weekend.
“Stroll was really quick in Mugello with the upgrade,” said Sainz. “So it’s difficult to tell if that’s going to be the case for the rest of the year. We also, hopefully, have some good things coming.
“I would say they’ve definitely been the faster midfield car, which doesn’t mean the best midfield team, but definitely the fastest midfield car in most of the races.”
Sainz’s team mate Lando Norris said McLaren have closed the gap to Racing Point since the start of the season.
“Racing Point have been very quick this year compared to last year, for example. Especially in the beginning of the season I think they were a lot more competitive than us.
“But I want to say that we started off in a better way in terms of everything else on track. Maybe not quite our pit stops being exceptional, but the execution of a lot of other things: Starts, some pit stops and everything else around it, I think we executed very well.
“I think that paid dividends through points and so on in the races where we were not as competitive as them.”
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