McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says clinching fourth in the constructors’ standings represents a “big step forward” for the prestigious team, and has talked up securing more podiums on “outright performance” after the success of Brazil.
After four disappointing years – three with Honda engines and one with Renault – McLaren have enjoyed a big improvement in 2019 and have consistently been ‘best of the rest’ behind F1’s big three.
Sunday’s Brazilian GP capped an outstanding year, as not only did Carlos Sainz secure his first podium, and the team’s first since 2014, but his and Lando Norris’ points sealed McLaren’s fourth in the championship.
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McLaren, who with their 20 F1 titles are the sport’s second most successful team of all-time, are now focused on closing the gap to the front, with Seidl highlighting their “clear aim” of fighting for more top-three finishes.
“I’m happy for the entire team, everyone has done so much work throughout the year,” the team principal told Sky F1’s Rachel Brookes.
“Performing P4 for us is a big step forward, and great motivation for all of us to keep working hard with the clear aim that at some point that we fight for podiums down to our own outright performance.”
Sainz claimed a brilliant third for McLaren at Interlagos, which was all the more impressive considering he started at the back of the grid. The Spaniard made ground through the midfield, before taking advantage of two Safety Cars as Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull all hit trouble.
“He’s done a sensational job all year and he deserves it,” said Seidl of Sainz, who is sixth in the championship and enjoying his best F1 season.
Sainz added: “We just need to keep working, I’ve seen a lot of fire in this team this year.
“I’m very surprised, after such a tough season last year, with how this team was still firing and hungry for results. That’s the competitive spirit we need to make sure we continue to have.”
This article was originally published by Sky Sports and reproduced with permission.