Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  18 February 2019

McLaren 'has to be proud' of good opening day - Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz says his McLaren team should be proud of their positive opening day to Formula 1 pre-season testing, having completed 119 laps whilst also setting the second fastest time.

Sainz has joined McLaren from Renault for the 2019 season during a difficult period for the British team, which has failed to score a podium finish in almost five years.

The Spaniard is however pleased with his first taste of McLaren's MCL34 and believes a relatively trouble-free day of running is a big step forward for the team and a good start to its ambitions to rise up the order.

"Definitely a good day," he said. "I think everyone in the team has to be proud and has to be happy.

"The hard work over the winter, the plan we put together to have the car ready nice and early for the presentation to be out on track at 9am and as the morning was going by, not having any issue with the car at all to complete almost 120 laps is definitely a good place to start the year.

"It is positive. You could see some smiling faces especially this morning when we left and started to put laps and laps on it without any issue or long stops. I think that was a very good way to start and this afternoon we completed some long runs, so it was a good way to start.

"People are happy here at the track but we must not forget all the people in Woking who are the main ones who put together this car."

Sainz has confidence in McLaren's ability despite their recent struggles and says the professionalism and experience of a race-winng team is still present.

"I realised the quality there is in McLaren since the day I arrived," he added. "That has never been a question. Even before arriving to the team I had a lot of trust in this team.

"We cannot forget this is the last team to win a race which isn’t Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull. It was McLaren in 2012 when they had the fastest car. In six years you cannot forget how to do fast cars.

"We are still very far away from where we want to be but I like when I see the car, the attention to detail, even in the steering, how the seat is done. There are professional people, tidy people, a clean atmosphere and I definitely like that."

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