Carlos Sainz's career-defining stint at McLaren Racing comes to a positive conclusion as he helps steer the team to its best F1 season since 2012...

Carlos Sainz has been dealt his fair share of misfortune over the years and 2020 was no different, with some moments of bad luck once again cropping up. 

However, it did not destabilise the Spaniard, who was incredibly consistent throughout the season on his way to finishing sixth in the championship despite a DNS and two retirements. 

One of the only blemishes of Sainz’s campaign was a rather bizarre and clumsy first-lap accident in Sochi when he slammed into the wall all by himself having misjudged his route back to the track following a wide moment. 

That error aside, Sainz was largely flawless and a regular top six challenger. He may have just been pipped in the qualifying head-to-heads by Norris, but it was Sainz who scored a revitalised McLaren’s best Saturday result with an excellent third on the grid in Monza, setting up his run to second place finish behind Pierre Gasly, which remains a slight regret for Sainz that it was not him that stood atop the winners’ podium in Italy. 

It would not be the only time that Sainz found himself running at the front of the grid, with a brilliant start in Portugal seeing him charge into a first-lap lead before ultimately slipping back to sixth. 

A run of six top-six finishes from the final seven rounds of the year was crucial in helping McLaren overhaul chief midfield rivals Racing Point in the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship, as Sainz maximised McLaren’s inferior package time and time again. 

Sainz leaves McLaren and heads to Ferrari at the peak of his career. He will arrive at Maranello full of confidence next year, knowing that he is driving better than ever before. 

 

 

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