McLaren’s Carlos Sainz hopes his upturn in form at the Spanish Grand Prix will act as the “turning point” of his 2020 Formula 1 season. 

After his brilliant 2019 campaign, Sainz has endured a more difficult opening to 2020 which had seen him getting outscored by teammate Lando Norris at four of the opening five races of the delayed season. 

Cooling issues hampered Sainz at both Silverstone rounds as he failed to register a single point across the back-to-back events, before a chassis and power unit change in his MCL35 resolved the problem and paved the way for the Spaniard to earn his best result of the year with a P6 finish on home soil. 

“In general, we’ve performed well over the opening stint of races and I hope Barcelona was a turning point in my season,” said Sainz ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. 

“We need to carry forward all the positive energy built in Spain because the constructors' championship is extremely tight and leaving points behind is not an option if we want to stay in the fight.”

McLaren is engaged in a tight scrap for third place in the constructors’ championship, with the Woking outfit currently sitting fourth in the standings sandwiched between Racing Point (P3) and Ferrari (P5) - with just two points separating all three teams. 

Reliability and sluggish pit stops have cost both drivers crucial points this year and team principal Andreas Seidl acknowledges McLaren will need to be on top of its game if it is to wrestle back third spot. 

“We know that we face a challenge in the constructors’ championship, with third to sixth place separated only by a small amount of points,” he explained.

“Reliability, race operations and extracting maximum performance from the car are all critical to staying in this fight.”

 

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