Cape Town - Carlos Sainz says from his first lap to his 150th, he
enjoyed every single one of them as he made his McLaren debut in Abu Dhabi on
The Spaniard was given permission by Renault to drive for
McLaren, a Renault-powered team, in the post-season Abu Dhabi tyre test.
It was a great head start on his McLaren career as he spent
the day adapting to the controls and settings of the car, as well as learning
the relevant processes and procedures.
In addition, he performed valuable tyre evaluations,
comparing both the 2018 and 2019 Pirelli compounds.
His best time for the day, a 1:38.547, put him fifth on the
"Going out of the garage today on my first day as a McLaren
driver was pretty much a dream come true," Sainz said.
"When I finally completed my first run I felt extremely
good, and I must say it’s been a very straightforward day.
"The team has made me feel at home from lap one and
from day one yesterday when I started working with them.
"I did a lot of laps today and I’m grateful to the team
for giving me such a reliable car to be able to initiate me in this new chapter
and new style of car."
The Spaniard completed 150 laps, over 830km, without any
He continued: "From the first lap to the 150th lap, I
enjoyed them all; the feeling was good and we’ve been able to end the season in
the best way possible.
"As soon as I got out of the box I felt comfortable in
"Of course, there are always going to be details to
improve and new things to adapt to, like the seat and the driving style, but
from the first lap I could spend time adapting and getting to know all the new
controls and procedures. It’s been great.
"It’s been an intense few days after the race finished
here in Abu Dhabi, learning a lot of names and understanding how the car works.
"I’m looking forward to spending more time back at the
factory over the winter getting to know the team better and preparing as much
as we can for 2019."