McLaren comparing data with Mercedes, Ferrari - not midfield
Carlos Sainz says McLaren are comparing themselves to front-running teams Ferrari and Mercedes, rather than their midfield rivals, as they look for areas to improve the MCL34. McLaren are 'best-of-the-rest' after four races in fourth place in the constructors' standings.
McLaren's results are not markedly better compared to the same point in 2018, although a more humble approach to pre-season frames them in a notably better light.
The team has impressed in qualifying – the Chinese GP is the only event so far this year that has not featured a McLaren in Q3.
Bad fortune – especially for Sainz – has cost McLaren points, but the Spaniard says the team remains highly ambitious for the races to come.
"Pretty much every area I think we still need to improve," he said. "Because we look at Mercedes, we see where they are, we look at Ferrari, and then you look at the data and you see that every area of the car needs to be improved.
"If we compare ourselves against the midfield, then we only need to improve in little areas to come on top.
"But we are not comparing ourselves against that. We are comparing ourselves to a car that is a second quicker at the moment than us. And that's the target, to improve in every area."
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