Carlos Sainz says early and efficient upgrades to its MCL34 will help McLaren avoid the performance drop it experienced last season.

Following its switch from Honda to Renault power at the beginning of 2018, McLaren enjoyed a positive start to its campaign before the pace of its car receded, sending the Woking-based outfit towards the lower end of the mid-field pack.

To avoid a repeat of that scenario, McLaren will require timely and beneficial changes to its 2019 contender according to Sainz.

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“If our upgrades work, then I’m convinced this team is going to move forward,” the Spaniard told

“So we need those upgrades early and to start developing the car to not fall into the same trap as last season.”

Despite a disappointing start in Australia, with Sainz’s qualifying undermined by circumstances and his run on Sunday halted early following an MGU-K failure, the McLaren driver is convinced of his mount’s potential, as team mate Lando Norris’ P8 result in qualifying demonstrated.


“We know the direction to follow, we know the car at the moment has the pace to be in the mix: some races in Q3, some races not,” he added.

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“But we have a good development programme and if we make it happen, we will succeed in that battle.”

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