Carlos Sainz: “I want at least one podium in 2020” 

McLaren´s Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz has given a press conference this past Thursday in Madrid as part of an event organised by his personal sponsor, brewer Estrella Galicia. 

At the gathering, and with just one week left before the start of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship, the driver from Madrid has been talking about his team in particular and about current issues in Formula 1 2020 grid.

The topics discussed in his chat with the press have been many and very varied including his expectations and objectives for the new season, his feelings after the pre-season testing sessions in Barcelona, the crisis of the coronavirus epidemic, his future in the sport and of course, the joint statement released by seven of the teams, including McLaren, against the confidential settlement reached by the FIA and Ferrari following the inquiry into the power unit used by the latter during 2019.

What are your conclusions after the training sessions in Barcelona?

“They were two very interesting weeks of testing for all of the teams but particularly for McLaren. Our car was quite new and we had to test a lot of new parts. Now I am really looking forward to getting on the plane for Australia next Saturday”. 

What are your feelings regarding the other teams on the grid?

“I think the order will not change significantly from last year. There are three leading teams (Mercedes,, Red Bull and Ferrari) with a clear advantage over the rest. That was apparent during the race simulations (at the tests in Barcelona). Despite there being three teams are clearly ahead of McLaren, our team and I, in particular, are very happy with the car. It is better than last year”. 

What would you consider to be a good result for the first three races?

“I am going to focus on the time-per-lap rather than on the results. In the end, the position doesn’t tell you the whole picture. For instance, if Racing Point finished half a second behind Mercedes, we may finish the tenth in Australia. That might seem like a bad result, but in reality, we may be closer to Mercedes in time-per-lap. And that is our goal”.

 

What are your expectations for 2020? 

“Last year we took the greatest step, but this year we must continue making progress. I do not remember any team not saying every year that that is the most important season for them so far and also, I do not remember any beginning of season when I haven’t thought myself that that was the most important year of my career”.

“That is always my personal attitude and now in 2020, more than ever, I have to keep on giving my best in order to continue improving. At an individual level, I hope to keep on growing as a driver. I would like to improve in the qualifying sessions, keep making good starts, more overtakings … and try to get some podiums“, said Carlos Sainz.

 

The name Ferrari has come up in talks about your future but, do you prefer McLaren? 

What I have to do now is to continue being focused on my work with McLaren. The first races of 2020, however, will be very important for my future and I hope they continue to show my progress. As for my medium and long-term future, I don’t see myself anywhere else. I am currently in the middle of some initial conversations, but some time has to pass yet.

Is there any coronavirus paranoia at the paddock or the team?

“Not on my side. Surely there will be some special preventative measure implemented during the first races. In fact, it is good for fans to be cautious”.

 

Any special measures in the face of the epidemic? 

“I just keep in contact with a doctor and the people in the team. They advise you to be careful, wash your hands, shake hands less, avoid any unnecessary direct contact with people”. 

Finally, Carlos Sainz only had this to say regarding the settlement between the FIA and Ferrari following the inquiry into the power unit used by the Italians in 2019:

“That is a political issue and I want to stay out of it because I am only a driver. Our position in the matter is clear from the joint statement.

Images of Carlos Sainz: Estrella Galicia.

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