Carlos Sainz says from his first lap to his 150th, he enjoyed every single one of them as he made his McLaren debut in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The Spaniard was given permission by Renault to drive for McLaren, a Renault-powered team, in the post-season Abu Dhabi tyre test.
It was a great head start on his McLaren career as he spent the day adapting to the controls and settings of the car, as well as learning the relevant processes and procedures.
In addition, he performed valuable tyre evaluations, comparing both the 2018 and 2019 Pirelli compounds.
His best time for the day, a 1:38.547, put him fifth on the timesheet.
“Going out of the garage today on my first day as a McLaren driver was pretty much a dream come true,” Sainz said.
“When I finally completed my first run I felt extremely good, and I must say it’s been a very straightforward day.
“The team has made me feel at home from lap one and from day one yesterday when I started working with them.
“I did a lot of laps today and I’m grateful to the team for giving me such a reliable car to be able to initiate me in this new chapter and new style of car.”
The Spaniard completed 150 laps, over 830km, without any issues.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 28, 2018
He continued: “From the first lap to the 150th lap, I enjoyed them all; the feeling was good and we’ve been able to end the season in the best way possible.
“As soon as I got out of the box I felt comfortable in the car.
“Of course, there are always going to be details to improve and new things to adapt to, like the seat and the driving style, but from the first lap I could spend time adapting and getting to know all the new controls and procedures. It’s been great.
“It’s been an intense few days after the race finished here in Abu Dhabi, learning a lot of names and understanding how the car works.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time back at the factory over the winter getting to know the team better and preparing as much as we can for 2019.”