Carlos Sainz Jr. claimed a podium and sixth in the Drivers’ Championship in 2019, but the McLaren driver struck a cautious tone when looking ahead to 2020.
Sainz switched from Renault to McLaren last year and emerged as the standout driver from Formula 1’s midfield, and captured a shock podium finish in Brazil.
Formula 1’s top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have locked out the front-running positions in the championship in recent seasons.
But Red Bull’s mid-season driver swap involving Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon left P6 up for grabs and Sainz secured the position with a last-lap pass at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
However, given the stability in the regulations Sainz Jr. reckons besting last year’s achievements will be a challenge.
“I first need to try the car and see what the car is going to allow me to do,” he said on the subject of aspirations for 2020.
“In Formula 1 you guys understand you’re very much dictated by the performance of your car but at the same time this year, McLaren, I like what I’m seeing, I like the project, I like the car.
“When we revealed it I like how tidy it looks and hopefully it’s a faster car than last year, and hopefully it is a car that is closer to the top teams.
“I don’t know what I’m going to fight for. I’m going to try my best and if there is a podium opportunity I’ll try take it, if there’s an opportunity to finish higher than seventh I’m going to try.
“But to improve on last year in terms of only positions it’s not going to be easy.”
On a personal note Sainz added that “there’s not particular any point I want to improve.
“I should just let myself gain another year of experience and go into 2020 building on what I did last year.
“There is no particular thing, I just wish I can be a better all-rounded driver in 2020.”