Sainz: Upgrades put me ‘on the back foot’

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Carlos Sainz McLaren

Carlos Sainz McLaren

Carlos Sainz is unhappy with McLaren’s upgrades and feels that running them has put him on the back foot in Germany.

Hopes were high for the Spaniard heading into the Eifel Grand Prix as his team fitted a number of updates on his car.

However, qualifying proved to be hugely disappointing as he could only manage P10, going just under three tenths slower than team-mate Lando Norris in Q3.

In his eyes, the upgrades are the very reason for this deficit.

“Yeah, disappointed because honestly with the new package and me running all the new bits on the car we obviously all expected a bit of a step forward,” he told Sky F1.

“I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t have the full Friday to optimize it, but I’ve been a bit on the back foot since FP3.

“We decided to split the cars, Lando’s been on the old package all day long and he looks to be a bit happier than me so, I don’t know, many question marks at the moment.

“I think I did a good job of developing through qualy and getting the car in a better window as we were very far off in Q1, but at the moment we are very far from where we want to be.”

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At the previous race in Sochi, Norris was the one to run updates and the Brit was the slower of the two McLarens there.

Given this, Sainz is not optimistic about how he’ll fare during the race in Germany and feels that the package needs to be looked at again.

“Parc ferme means we can change nothing to the car for tomorrow, so it will be more a day of trying to make some data gathering for the engineers and everyone back home,” he added.

“So far, you know, not very happy. It hasn’t been a very good day for me. It wasn’t a good weekend for Lando in Russia with the new package, so I don’t know, we need to double-check everything.”

Norris echoed his team-mate’s sentiments, pointing to the lack of practice in particular as to why Sainz is struggling so much.

“It is more difficult just because it takes a bit of time to understand the package completely and, when you only have one practice session like we had this morning, it’s hard to work out what’s the best set-up for it and how to extract all the potential out of it,” he said.

“So that’s the difficulty with having the upgrades, and that’s what Carlos had to deal with. But I was very happy with sticking with what we knew, and it seems to have paid off. So I’m happy from my side.”

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