Pre-race discovery aided Sainz in Turkish GP recovery drive
Carlos Sainz has revealed he only discovered how to make his McLaren work in the tricky Istanbul Park conditions on his lap to the grid after struggling all weekend.
Neither Sainz nor team-mate Lando Norris reached the final segment of qualifying, while both were also hit with grid penalties after the session - Sainz for impeding Racing Point's Sergio Perez on a quick lap and Norris for ignoring yellow flags.
It meant the pair started in a lowly 14th and 15th, with Norris the lead driver, in the treacherous conditions that prevailed pre-race
But after suffering with tyre warm-up problems throughout Friday and Saturday, Sainz then discovered a few useful tricks as he navigated his way to the grid.
"I didn’t know what to expect, what to want but when it started raining I already felt on the laps to the grid better with the car," said Sainz.
“I found a couple of things to warm up the tyres better and that gave me immediately good confidence going into the race, and in the race, when the tyres switched on, I was finally able to do my race.”
While McLaren ultimately lost ground by five points to Racing Point in the fight for third in the constructors' championship after starting the day level, the Spaniard was naturally delighted to finish fifth and within touching distance of a podium position.
"It was a very tricky day for us in qualifying, not being able to switch on the tyres," added Sainz.
"So we went into the race with no expectations because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to switch the tyres on or not, but we finally did, and finally the wet weather skills come back into play when the tyres are on.
“[I was] Happy to pick up six places at the start and then four, five more during the race with good pace, everything working well. I was very happy with the day’s work.”
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