McLaren’s Carlos Sainz has admitted displeasure with his car amid a challenging Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday, despite crossing the line in fifth place.
Sainz was the only McLaren driver at the Nurburgring to run new parts throughout the weekend but also suffered complications during qualifying when he was beaten by team-mate Lando Norris, who ran the old package.
McLaren’s current development path has seen it run a new, more narrow nose at recent events, as well as a slightly modified front wing that contains more neutralised winglets towards the endplate.
Despite equalling his second-best result of the 2020 campaign at the Nurburgring, Sainz states he never felt in contention for a podium finish, while McLaren’s rivals Renault broke into the top three.
“After what happened on Saturday and the 60 struggling laps I had on Sunday, I didn’t have a good feeling during the 60 laps, I never felt in contention for that podium I could see in front of me,” Sainz said.
“I could see the battle unravelling. I have to be happy because I think we extracted the maximum today.
“When you see a podium that close but the feeling with the car is so, let’s say, not good, I had so much graining, it’s difficult to accept.”
The weekend at the Nurburgring was heavily disrupted by weather, with all of Friday’s running scrapped due to foggy conditions which presented challenges for the medical helicopter.
Sainz says McLaren will work to understand if its struggles with the upgrades last weekend were a result of no data gathering on Friday, or if the new parts are not working with the overall package.
“That’s the biggest question mark we have now: if we would have had Friday to develop this package a lot better than what it is now, or it’s just the package not working as it should,” Sainz said.
“That’s the biggest question mark that we have going into the next couple of weeks, where we need to do a lot of work.
“The feeling with the car, the amount of graining I had because of the amount of understeer I was carrying is not very good.
“So let’s say, a couple of important weeks ahead to figure out what we do next.”