Carlos Sainz believes that one of the reasons for his upturn in form in the handful of races preceding the August summer break is that he and McLaren did not overreact to their poor early form at the start of the campaign.
In the first three races of the season in Australia, Bahrain, and China, the Spaniard had two DNF results due to car issues followed by a place outside of the top 10. He managed to bounce back in Azerbaijan by finishing seventh, and has stressed the importance of remaining calm during the early-season failures.
"Given how bad the first two races start and how unlucky I was during the first two or three races, to be where I am at the moment is really positive," Sainz said.
"The key there was don't overreact to the first races, just kept doing what I was doing. Then the luck turned around and the results start coming. Since Baku, it's been a very strong season.
"It took me less time to adapt to the McLaren than it did to adapt to the Renault.
"We are still learning the car, and I am still learning. You saw in Silverstone in the car you can surprise now and then.
"From Australia, FP1, FP1, FP3 I was fast. In Bahrain, I was fast in qualifying, I was fighting Max for a top-five place. I was there throughout those races but somehow the results never clicked.
"But as soon as the result arrived in Baku, suddenly everything started coming together."
Sainz moved from Renault to McLaren on a two-year deal ahead of the 2019 campaign, and has credited the meticulous planning from his new engineers to ease the transition to his new team.
"I felt with McLaren, we've put together a plan to make sure I adapted quickly," he added.
"We knew we had a two-year contract and the engineers came up with a plan during winter to make sure we arrived at the first race as prepared as possible.
"I had 100 laps in Abu Dhabi where I managed to learn a lot. Those 100 laps were all planned in order to help me know the car for the next year.
"That preparation and planning ahead helped a lot."
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