McLaren 'has to be happy' with start to F1 testing - Sainz

New McLaren signing Carlos Sainz Jr says the team has to be "proud" and "happy" after it began Formula 1 testing at Barcelona with second fastest time on day one

McLaren 'has to be happy' with start to F1 testing - Sainz

Former Renault driver Sainz put McLaren sixth in the early Monday session, conducting 56 laps.

But shortly after the beginning of the afternoon session, his car lost drive at the exit of the pitlane and he had to be wheeled back in.

A strong end to the day on the C3 tyre then meant Sainz was able to steal second fastest time from Haas driver Romain Grosjean, ending the day with 119 laps - the third-highest tally.

"Everyone in the team has to be proud, has to be happy," said Sainz.

"The hard work over the winter, the plan we put together to have the car early for the presentation and to be out on track at nine o'clock [has paid off].

"This afternoon we completed some long runs, we finished the day with the red flags at six o'clock.

"So it was definitely a good way to start, and definitely people here at the track are happy.

"But we must not forget all the people back at Woking who are the main ones who put together this car."

McLaren had difficult starts to pre-season testing in recent years, both with Honda (pictured above) and then in its first campaign with Renault in 2018.

Though it was the last team other than Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull to win a race, that victory is now over six years ago.

But Sainz said the "quality" and "professionalism" he had encountered at the team had given him encouragement.

"I realised the quality there is at McLaren since the day I arrived at the team," he said.

"That has never been a question, and even before arriving at the team, I had a lot of trust in this team.

"In six years you cannot forget how to make fast cars, although we are still far away from where we want to be.

"But I like when I see the car, the attention to detail; the steering, how the seat is done. You can see there is professional people, tidy people, a clean atmosphere and I definitely like that."

shares
comments
F1 testing: Renault brings raft of new parts for RS19 to Barcelona

Previous article

F1 testing: Renault brings raft of new parts for RS19 to Barcelona

Next article

Barcelona F1 testing spins make Grosjean query tyre blanket rules

Barcelona F1 testing spins make Grosjean query tyre blanket rules
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams McLaren
Author Adam Cooper
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021