Sainz: MCL34 was ‘love at first sight’

Carlos Sainz said it was "love at first sight" with the McLaren MCL34

Carlos Sainz said it was "love at first sight" with the McLaren MCL34

New McLaren driver Carlos Sainz described it as “love at first sight” when the team revealed their 2019 challenger.

Unveiled at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, the papaya and vega blue MCL34 will be driven by an all-new line-up, with Sainz partnered by British rookie Lando Norris.

Norris, 19, is a graduate of the McLaren young driver programme, while Sainz arrived after spending 2018 with Renault.

Speaking at the launch, Sainz added: “I’m really looking forward to the tests and excited to finally go racing in McLaren colours.

“I know everyone at the factory has been working very hard over the winter to prepare ourselves for this year, and I think the team has done a fantastic job with the livery of the MCL34.

“We know the big task ahead of us and we first need to evaluate where we are after the tests.

“From there onwards, I can’t wait to start racing and keep pushing forward together.”

Both drivers will take to the cockpit during the first pre-season test in Barcelona, which starts on 18 February at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Usually a time drivers describe as a little boring, Norris cannot wait to get testing underway and truly begin his Formula 1 career.

“Next stop, Barcelona. Seriously, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel in testing,” he explained.

“I’ve been working hard over the winter preparing for my step up to Formula 1.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with the team in the factory too, learning as much as I can to get ready for the 2019 season.

“It’s been my dream to get to Formula 1 since I was a kid. I gained useful experience behind the wheel during practice sessions in 2018, and now I’m really looking forward to making my race debut with McLaren.

“The MCL34 looks great and now I just want to drive it.”

After a disappointing P6 finish in the 2018 Constructors’ Championship, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes the MCL34 offers the team a fresh start.

“The MCL34 is the result of an immense amount of hard work and dedication throughout our team,” said Brown.

“We’re all committed, motivated and united in our ambition to return McLaren to competitiveness, and the MCL34 is only the start of this process.

“We have a fresh driver pairing, who together represent the new generation of Formula 1 talent, and are an integral part of the team and our collective effort to advance McLaren forward.”

Another change on its way at McLaren is the arrival of their new F1 managing director Andreas Seidl, who will begin in his new role on 1 May.

“We’re delighted that Andreas is able to join the team on 1 May,” Brown explained when asked about the German.

“This enables us to continue the momentum of our recovery plan and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to McLaren.”

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