Sainz has never been better as a racer

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz believes he will improve by carving out a long-term career with McLaren.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz believes he is currently driving at the highest level of his career so far.

The Spaniard finished P5 at the Japanese Grand Prix, his third P5 of the season, and in doing so moved up to P6 in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of Pierre Gasly.

McLaren have the fourth-fastest car on the grid and Sainz again used the MCL34 to maximum effect at Suzuka, competing with Red Bull’s Alex Albon in the first half of the Japanese Grand Prix before defending P5 from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Unsurprisingly, the Spaniard agrees that he is in the form of his life right now.

“I would say so, I’m not going to lie,” he told when asked if he’s in the best shape of his career.

“I thought about it during the race when I was pushing to hold off Leclerc and suddenly, they told me the lap times, and I said ‘ooh, I must be driving quick!’

“And at the end of the race, I said to the team thanks for a great car all weekend, very proud to be finally a bit more than best of the rest. We were definitely a step clear this weekend.”

Sainz feels that “everything is coming a bit more together” for him during the second half of the season.

“I just get to know the car now in the second half of the season. In qualifying, I’m understanding the car a bit better, I’ve set it up more to my liking,” he explained.

“Also both in qualifying and in the race, we’re a bit stronger on pace. In qualy I had a problem on the battery, I was losing a couple of tenths every lap from the battery, and I still managed to qualify a good P7.

“It just feels like everything is coming a bit more together in this second half.”

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