McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says the team are targetting sixth place in the drivers’ championship for Carlos Sainz in 2019, but admits that Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly will have a say.
The Spaniard is currently seventh in the rankings for this season, but is only three points adrift of Gasly in sixth, while Albon is in eighth after that pair switched teams from Toro Rosso to Red Bull and vice versa.
Not content with simply being ‘best of the rest’, Seidl wants Sainz to break into the triopoly of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.
“For the drivers championship clearly our target with Carlos is to score P6,” he said.
“There’s two main competitors which is Gasly and Albon. Albon is catching up quickly so hopefully we can keep this fight up as long as possible.”
Seidl credits Sainz for being a key player in the development of the McLaren car, saying he is impressed by his driver’s knowledge despite being relatively young.
“Carlos, you could see straight away, the first time I met him, that he has experience already," the McLaren team principal explained.
"He has seen two other teams already in the past which brought him a lot of experience which he and then several seasons on his back already.
“So he was a key element in terms of guiding [and] driving the development of the car since his first test last year in Abu Dhabi.
“Sometimes when you hear him speaking you think he has an engineering degree as well. Which is great, but at the same time he is still young as well. He keeps learning and developing together with us as a team.”
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