Sainz unfazed by Marko’s ‘at the back’ claims

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz:

Carlos Sainz isn’t worried about Helmut Marko’s claims that McLaren are “at the back” of the pack, saying they “know where we are”.

Giving his assessment of the pecking order after testing, Red Bull advisor Marko declared that Red Bull are second best while former driver Sainz’s new team, McLaren, are last with Williams.

He told Speed Week: “Ferrari is ahead, then we come in front of Mercedes. And then there is the big midfield, where it will be very tight.

“McLaren and Williams are at the back.”

Sainz isn’t at all fazed by his former boss’ statement.

In fact the Spaniard, who joined McLaren after failing to land a Red Bull Racing seat, believes his new team is much better prepared for 2019 than they have been in recent years.

Sainz and his team-mate Lando Norris covered 975 laps in test while McLaren outpaced Red Bull in both pre-season tests.

“I respect his predictions, but I know where we are, which is pretty much where we were last year,” quotes Sainz as having said at an event for McLaren sponsor Estrella Galicia.

“I’m sure his numbers have led him to say that, so there’s nothing to argue about.

“All I can say is that we did more laps than in any other year.

“To say whether we’ll be sixth or ninth is impossible.

“But we are going to Australia better prepared than in previous years.”

As for his thoughts on F1’s midfield, the former Toro Rosso driver said: “Last year I felt that Haas was ahead of the mid-field, and they could surprise.

“But the others are close, regardless of the simulations, and are hiding tenths.”

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