Carlos Sainz says he felt “good vibes” from McLaren ahead of his move to the team for 2019 despite its recent struggles, prior to leading its charge to fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Sainz joined McLaren from Renault for 2019 off the back of a difficult year for the British team that saw it slump to ninth place in the standings.

But the Spaniard helped lead its climb up the order this year, finishing sixth in the championship and scoring McLaren’s first podium since 2014 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

While some questioned Sainz’s decision to quit Renault for McLaren at the time, he explained there was always a good feeling ahead of the move.

“I had good feelings when I moved to McLaren, even if things didn’t look very promising at the end of 2018,” Sainz said.

“I did have some conversations with a lot of engineers, a lot of people, Zak [Brown]. The project itself just gave me good vibes.

“I don’t know if it has anything to do with the good results but those good vibes translated very quickly into results and into a change of approach by McLaren, a very big change in the structure of the team.

“All of a sudden we’re here having secured P4 in the standings, the first podium in five years and, all of a sudden, it looks like the right move.

“I’m very happy, and very pleased to see such a great group of people performing at such a very high level and being so hungry and motivated to move forwards still.”