McLaren will not be taking a ‘gap year’

Michelle Foster
McLaren will not be taking a 'gap year'

McLaren will not be taking a 'gap year'

Carlos Sainz has rubbished claims that 2020 is nothing more than a “gap year” for teams to prepare for 2021, saying McLaren will go all out for success.

This year’s championship marks the final season before Formula 1’s aerodynamic regulations undergo a change in philosophy.

The sport will be switching to ground effect aerodynamics next season while even the tyres will be different with Pirelli introducing 18-inch tyres.

This has led to speculation about how hard the teams will push, especially when it comes to updating the cars later in the season.

Sainz insists McLaren will be pushing hard.

“Many may consider 2020 to be just a gap year between the old and the new regulations,” he explained, “a mere continuation of 2019 into 2021.

“However, at McLaren, we pushed the ‘reset’ button after the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi and we’ve worked extremely hard to try and improve every single detail of our car.”

The new McLaren MCL35, which was unveiled at the team’s Technology Centre on Thursday, sports reshaped sidepods, a thinner nose and tighter rear.

The airbox and front suspension have also been redesigned.

“The solid jump forward we made last season was a huge motivation but, at the same time, a strong reminder of how tight the fight continues to be in the midfield,” Sainz added.

“We can’t afford to sit back in 2020 if we want to close the gap to the top.

“The ambition is to push myself and the team to take another step forward this season.”

Last season McLaren finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with Sainz taking the team’s first podium in over 2,000 with a P3 at the Brazilian GP.

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