Carlos Sainz believes Renault’s ability to score a strong result at the Spanish Grand Prix reflects the progress made by the French Formula 1 team this season. 

Sainz converted a Q3 appearance into points with a strong drive to seventh in Barcelona as he beat McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to claim home honours and keep up his record of finishing inside the top 10 at every Spanish GP he has contested. 

And the Spaniard feels such a solid performance at a circuit that does not necessarily favour Renault’s 2018 package highlights the step forward the Enstone-based squad has made in the tight battle for midfield supremacy. 

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“I think it’s a very positive result for me and the team. We can be very proud of what we’ve achieved this weekend as this track was not ideal for us,” Sainz said.

“We turned things around well since Friday, did a very good start and managed to finish seventh which I think was the best we could hope for. It feels great to get another good result at home. 

“It’s good progress for the midfield fight and important points for the team. We have areas to work on, but we are making good progress. Let’s keep pushing.”

The result lifted Renault above customer team McLaren into fourth place in the constructors’ standings for the first time this year, with just a single point separating the two Renault-powered outfits. 

Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul added the result had acted as motivation for his team heading into a packed European leg of the season. 

“We’re leaving Barcelona in positive spirits,” he said. “Our target is to be in the points at every race and we achieved that with Carlos through another strong performance from him. He also qualified in the top ten, reinforcing the pace of the Renault R.S.18. 

“We’re happy that this result takes us one point ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ Championship, meaning for the first time we’re in fourth. The battle is very tight so we need to keep developing and performing at our best.”

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