McLaren's Sainz: Renault has F1 engine it needed two years ago

McLaren Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr believes Renault's 2019 engine is "something to fight with" and finally marks the progress it needed to make "two years ago"

McLaren's Sainz: Renault has F1 engine it needed two years ago

All bar one of Sainz's four seasons in F1 have been with Renault power, and he drove for the French manufacturer's own team at the end of 2017 and all of 2018.

Renault's lack of progress, particularly in qualifying trim, was a key factor in the breakdown of its relationship with Red Bull and left McLaren as its only customer for 2019.

After an encouraging qualifying performance in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Sainz said he could "feel a change" in Renault's competitiveness.

"I feel a step in the right direction," said Sainz.

"I still think we are a bit behind the Ferrari and Mercedes engines, but it definitely feels like we have something to fight with now, finally.

"I have done four years in Formula 1, all those four years has been 10km/h down on all the straights.

"So finally, to be turning up to Melbourne and to be just 2/3km/h down maybe on the top teams, is a really, really encouraging scenario.

"They seem to have clear ideas of how to develop the engine during the year so that gives some positive vibes also.

"I would praise Renault in that sense because it finally seems like they've done the step that we were needing two years ago."

Sainz retired from the Australian GP early with a suspected MGU-K failure.

He had indicated it was a problem Renault had already suffered in pre-season testing, but Renault has not commented on this.

Sainz's was hopeful his fiery exit from the race was a one-off and said it did not eliminate his post-qualifying positivity.

"I trust Renault, they've done steps, so hopefully we can keep pushing," he said after the grand prix.

shares
comments
F1 moves a 'step closer' to 2021 rules overhaul at key meeting

Previous article

F1 moves a 'step closer' to 2021 rules overhaul at key meeting

Next article

Alonso's 'character' part of Ferrari title failure - di Montezemolo

Alonso's 'character' part of Ferrari title failure - di Montezemolo
Load comments
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021