Sainz feels recharged at McLaren after “killing” rivals in finale

Carlos Sainz made his track debut for McLaren in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday – just three days after claiming he “killed” the midfield opposition to finish sixth and secure best-of-the-rest honours for the first time in 2018.

Sainz feels recharged at McLaren after “killing” rivals in finale

In his last outing for Renault, Sainz started with a free choice of tyres having qualified 11th, and a marathon 37-lap first stint on ultrasofts saw him climb up the order to beat drivers who had started ahead on hypersofts.

Sainz made it clear that it was the perfect way to sign off at Renault and head to his new team.

“We’re opening a new chapter with a great result,” he said. “I’m going to McLaren with a great feeling, saying thanks to Renault after all this year-and-a-half, with full motivation and fully recharged.

“It was a very big result for us. P4 [in the championship] was our target, and today we just simply killed the opposition with that P6, and finished in style. Saying goodbye to Renault with this result was exactly what I was after.”

Abu Dhabi test news:

Speaking after today’s testing in Abu Dhabi, where he was fifth quickest in the McLaren-Renault MCL33, Sainz said: “Going out of the garage today on my first day as a McLaren driver was pretty much a dream come true. When I finally completed my first run I felt extremely good, and I must say it’s been a very straightforward day.

“The team has made me feel at home from lap one and from day one yesterday when I started working with them. I did a lot of laps today and I’m grateful to the team for giving me such a reliable car to be able to initiate me in this new chapter and new style of car.

“From the first lap to the 150th lap, I enjoyed them all; the feeling was good and we’ve been able to end the season in the best way possible. As soon as I got out of the box I felt comfortable in the car.

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33 passes his pit board

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33 passes his pit board
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Jean Petin / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL33
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Photo by: Jean Petin / Motorsport Images

“Of course, there are always going to be details to improve and new things to adapt to, like the seat and the driving style, but from the first lap I could spend time adapting and getting to know all the new controls and procedures. It’s been great. 

“It’s been an intense few days after the race finished here in Abu Dhabi, learning a lot of names and understanding how the car works. I’m looking forward to spending more time back at the factory over the winter getting to know the team better and preparing as much as we can for 2019.”

Looking back on his time at the works Renault team, Sainz added: “I think it’s been a strange season.

“There have been some bumpy bits in the middle, a lot of great races without the results we deserved, like Mexico or Paul Ricard. To finally come up in the last race with a P6 that we deserved in many others, it feels great.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, leads Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, and Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, leads Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, and Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images

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