Carlos Sainz hopes he has reached a “turning point” in his season going into the next triple-header which starts with the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard endured more than his fair share of bad luck during the first five races of the campaign, including when being one of the drivers that suffered late punctures at the British Grand Prix.
But the McLaren driver had a change of fortune in the latest race, the Spanish Grand Prix, when a new engine resolved the cooling issue that had been afflicting his car and he bagged a highly creditable P6 finishing position in his home event.
Now he is looking forward to continuing the good work in a race he describes as one of his favourites on the F1 calendar.
“After the second triple-header of this season we’ve had a couple of days to rest and get ready for the next one. Up next is Spa, one of my favourite tracks on the calendar,” said Sainz in McLaren’s preview of the race weekend.
“Knowing how the car is behaving this season, I hope we can put together a strong race weekend. In general, we’ve performed well over the opening stint of races and I hope Barcelona was a turning point in my season.
“We need to carry forward all the positive energy built in Spain because the Constructors’ World Championship is extremely tight and leaving points behind is not an option if we want to stay in the fight.”
Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris has a Belgian mother and describes Spa as “being like a second home grand prix for me”.
Norris added: “The Belgian Grand Prix weekend is one I always look forward to. Spa is one of my favourite circuits in Formula 1 and is such great fun to drive. It’s a fast and flowing track with plenty of opportunities to overtake, which is a bit of a contrast to Spain.
“I had a good race there last year until an issue on the final lap, so I’m looking forward to getting back out on track again and going for it.
“This race also feels like a second home grand prix for me, because of my dual British/Belgian citizenship and the family I have there.”
Both McLaren drivers also paid tribute to Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in an F2 accident during last year’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Sainz said: “Anthoine was an exciting young talent that was taken from us too soon and we’ll always remember him wherever we race, but even more in Spa.”