Carlos Sainz’s brief spell in the lead of the Portuguese Grand Prix last Sunday will give McLaren additional motivation to push towards consistent front-running pace, according to Team Principal Andreas Seidl.
Sainz took the lead of the race at Portimao on the second lap after progressing forward on his Soft tyres, while those around him on the Medium compound struggled with tyre temperature.
On lap six of the grand prix, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas reclaimed the leading position, with Sainz falling back into the midfield pecking order.
However, Seidl says the Spaniard’s laps out in front will provide for some ”nice images” that will serve to motivate McLaren in the coming seasons.
“It obviously made some nice pictures which we will put up at home for additional motivation in order to keep us going towards the goal we all have to get back to the front in F1 in the coming years,” Seidl said.
“So that gave a nice taste and it was good to see, to have some leading laps.”
Sainz began to suffer from graining during his first stint, which saw him fall back down the order and out of contention with the leading runners.
Despite not having the pace to run out in front for the entire race, Seidl praised Sainz’s efforts, who would eventually finish in sixth place.
“We were quickly back and in the fight we belong to,” Seidl said. “With additional graining, we suffered with both cars at the beginning of the race.
“We dropped even further back and had to make our way back with Carlos.
“But Carlos and Lando [Norris] like these conditions also and of course we had an advantage on the Soft tyres compared to the guys on the Medium tyres, to Mercedes and Charles.
“Compared to Verstappen, who was also on Soft tyre, Carlos put on a good show and put in a nice gap within some laps. But then we were quickly back to reality.”