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Sainz praises Renault gains

NEWS STORY
25/03/2019

Having used Renault engines for three consecutive seasons, with Toro Rosso, the French manufacturer's works team and now McLaren, Carlos Sainz is probably in the best position to comment on its power unit.

Despite becoming the first retirement of the season, when his MHU-K failed just 9 laps into last week's season opening Australian Grand Prix, the Spaniard is full of praise for the French manufacturer's performance gains this year.

"I feel a change, yes," he said, according to Motorsport Week. "I feel a step forward, a step in the right direction.

"I still think we are a bit behind the Ferrari and Mercedes engines," he admits, "but it definitely feels like we have something to fight with now.

"I've done four years in Formula 1," he continues, "those four years have been ten km/h down on all the straights so finally be to turning up to Melbourne and being just two or three km/h down on the top teams is a really, really encouraging scenario.

"They seem to have clear ideas of how to develop the engine through the year," he adds. "I would praise Renault in that sense because finally it seems they've done the step they were needing two years ago.”

While Nico Hulkenberg was the only Renault-powered driver to make it into the points in Melbourne - the German finishing seventh - McLaren's Lando Norris was the only Renault-powered driver to make it through to Q3.

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