Sainz hoping for better McLaren in 2019
"They have to make changes in many areas"
Carlos Sainz is hoping McLaren can make him a much better car for 2019.
The Spaniard is switching from Renault to the once-great British team on a two-year contract starting next year.
McLaren has struggled in recent years but Sainz says he is optimistic.
"I have to be optimistic because it’s my nature, but I really am optimistic because I think McLaren has learned a lot this year.
"By using the same engine as Red Bull and Renault, they have realised that they have to make changes in many areas. And from when they realised they did not have a sufficiently competitive car, they begun to turn the team around," he told Marca.
"I hope that those changes will already be noticed in 2019."
At any rate, he is better off than the likes of Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne, who look set to lose their respective places in F1 altogether.
"I do think I’m privileged, but I also believe that I’ve deserved it rather than won the lottery.
"Ocon of course has also earned a place and Vandoorne could perfectly well stay, but F1 is a competitive sport in which you depend not only on yourself," Sainz said.
Even so, Sainz might be forgiven for being disappointed to have been ousted by Renault.
"Well, you don’t have to explain much when it’s Ricciardo," the 23-year-old said.
"For a driver like Daniel to place his trust in Renault is a very big message and I think very intelligent on the part of Renault.
"As for me I was depending on negotiations with Red Bull, and Renault was not very willing to wait," Sainz explained.
Finally, Sainz commented on reports that Honda could be set to pass Renault in the horse power stakes, leaving Renault with the least competitive power unit in F1.
"Wherever Honda has gone they have made a very competitive package and I have a great respect for them," he said.
"But I am confident that Renault will continue to take steps forward and I believe that more than ever we need a big step next year."
And set to race alongside rookie Lando Norris next year, that leaves Sainz as the de-facto McLaren ’number 1’.
"At McLaren right now we are not fighting for world championships, we are fighting to recover and gradually approach those top positions again," he said.
"For this we need two good drivers who bring as many points as possible. Although my experience says that I am number 1, we are both going to push to the maximum to bring McLaren up."