For McLaren, 2019 is not turning out like 2018 and so far this is a huge sigh of relief amongst the team, pundits and fans. A superb 6th place by Carlos Sainz Jr in Monaco put the pain of Indianapolis 500 behind them and rightly so, the quiet McLaren resurgence, is slowly but surely, continuing.
Last season, McLaren scored a combined total of 62 points across 21 races en route to 6th in the championship. So far, after 6 races this season, the team sit in 4th with 30 points. This is a very promising start to what is a very different McLaren team.
Drivers making the difference
Personally, I think McLaren has a very promising driver line-up. It’s one of my favourite driver pairings on the grid because I think both drivers suit the team.
It was unsure that after being forced out from Renault last season, Carlos Sainz Jr, was either making the best career decision or the worst given McLaren’s recent performances. Thankfully, so far, it’s turned out very well with the Spaniard, as team leader, scoring at 3 of the 6 races so far. 7th in Azerbaijan, 8th in Spain and now 6th in Monaco has lifted Sainz to 7th in the championship, leading the mid-field battle, despite scoring no points in Canada.
F2 runner-up and long-time member of the McLaren Young Driver Program, Lando Norris, has had a great couple of races in his rookie season. He made a name for himself straight away with qualifying in the season-opener in Australia in 8th and then finishing in 6th in Bahrain. A further points finish in Azerbaijan in 8th leaves the Brit in 12th place on 12 points. A collision with Lance Stroll in Spain and a suspension failure in Canada robbed the Brit of two potential point-scoring finishes.
McLaren’s Season so far
- Australia: Norris 12th, Sainz Jr RET: 0pts
- Bahrain: Norris 6th, Sainz Jr RET: 8pts
- China: Sainz Jr 14th, Norris RET: 0pts
- Azerbaijan: Sainz Jr 7th, Norris 8th: 10pts
- Spain: Sainz Jr 8th, Norris RET: 4pts
- Monaco: Sainz Jr 6th, Norris 11th: 8pts
- Canada: Sainz Jr 11th, Norris RET: 0pts
McLaren are in 4th in the Championship after Round 7 in Canada on 30 points