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Sainz says that, amid a disappointing 2018 campaign, McLaren’s focus was on getting to the bottom of its troubles before committing to this season’s car.

And although that allowed McLaren’s rivals to get a head start in working on their 2019 challengers, Sainz believes this also means his outfit has greater scope to improve its car from now on.

“I think where we were in Abu Dhabi in qualifying to where we are more or less nowadays in qualifying, it shows the team has done progress,” Sainz told Motorsport.com

“We didn’t start very early with developing this car, because we were trying to understand last year’s car through the second half of the season. So I think the team has taken good steps in the right direction, and this car still has a lot of margin of development.”

McLaren’s push forward has been boosted by the arrival of its new technical director James Key,

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