McLaren Formula 1 boss Andreas Seidl says seeing Carlos Sainz leading the Portuguese Grand Prix gave the whole team a motivation boost.

The fast-starting Sainz was able to capitalise on running on grippier Soft tyres during the early stages of Sunday’s race at Portimao to surge from seventh on the grid into the lead by the second lap, passing both Mercedes drivers in the process in the slippery conditions.

Sainz was able to maintain the position until the sixth lap, when Bottas moved back into the lead as he began to slip back down the order, eventually coming home in a strong sixth.

"Obviously it gave some nice pictures, which we will put up at home for additional motivation in order to keep us going towards the goal we all have to get back to the front end in F1 in the coming years," Seidl said.

"So that gave a nice taste, and it was good to see, to have some leading laps. But at the same time it was also clear that we had to focus on our own race, or the race which we were in. And so we were quickly back then in the fight where we belong.

"But was interesting to see. We know from Carlos and Lando, they like these conditions also. Of course, we had an advantage with the soft tyres compared to the guys on the medium tyres, to Mercedes and Charles.

“But compared to Verstappen, who was also on soft tyres, Carlos put up a good show, and could actually put in a nice gap within some laps. But then we were quickly back to reality.”

McLaren plans to introduce further updates at this weekend’s race at Imola as it eyes third place in the constructors’ championship, with the Woking squad sitting just two points behind Racing Point with five rounds to go.

"Overall, I was quite happy with how the weekend went after Nurburgring," Seidl explained.

"I think we started with a solid car configuration with the new nosebox and aero concept on Friday. We tested some more updates during Friday, which we plan to introduce from Imola onwards, after seeing the positive results.

"And then also for the rest of the weekend, I think we had a competitive car, which was good, which was another confirmation that we have a car to fight for this P3 in the championship.

"But in the end, it will be down to reliability, to maximising the races and making sure you see the chequered flag with both cars. This will decide who in the end will finish in P3."

 

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