Carlos Sainz is well aware that the middle of the pack will be tight in the season ahead, but remained positive while predicting tough times for the Renault team reaching that goal after his 69 lap afternoon in the car yesterday.
Asked if fourth place was achievable this year, Sainz replied “Of course it can be possible, but it’s going to be difficult. The midfield, as always, has very high competition. We already see people like Haas and Toro Rosso doing very decent lap times, so it is going to be particularly tough, but we will try.”
“We know that Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are going to be ahead and fighting for the win in Australia. That is not our concern. Our concern is to be closer to them and cutting that gap little by little through the year.”
The team were running a new front wing yesterday whilst completing their full run plan for the day, and good analysis from the drivers is key to the team making those improvements throughout the year. Did they learn anything yesterday?
“You always learn new things in testing and today we also had some new parts coming which we have to analyse and take good care of. Little by little, as the days go by, we learn and we keep becoming stronger each day.”
“A front wing always changes a bit [of] the feeling of the car and the front wing was changing a few things and we need to learn from it.”
“I think we are going in the right direction little by little getting where we want to be.”
Overall, Sainz was feeling positive about the evolution and the direction the team were taking.
“When I jumped in the car for the first time, I felt the car had margin for improvement. That’s why I was always very cautious out here in the press saying let’s start testing and improving the car. The car has a lot of potential and I feel we can improve the car and that’s going to give us good place in F1. We’ve already improved it since day one so I’m confident we are getting there.”