McLaren made there long awaited return to the F1 podium this weekend in São Paulo at the hectic Brazilian Grand Prix as Carlos Sainz took a smoothly operated P3.
Sainz started P20 after a devastating engine failure left him unable to set a qualifying lap on Saturday. Starting on the softs, he made his way through the field. He overtook much of the midfield, reaching the points before pitting for medium compound tires to get to the end of the race.
These tires worked sublimely on his Mclaren and proved vital for his result as they took him to the end with decent pace. Unluckily for his teammate Lando Norris, the hards didn’t work so well with the milkman having to stop a second time as the hards lost pace leaving him in the lower points.
Carlos went on to finish P4 on the road but inherited the podium after the podium celebrations as Lewis Hamilton was handed a 5 second penalty by the FIA (dropping him to 7th)for his earlier clash with Albon which saw the Thai driver lose his chance at a first podium .
The pack up of the podium was delayed however, allowing Sainz and the entire McLaren entourage to experience the podium together. Emotional scene unfolded as the historic team made their return to the podium for the first time since 2014. The team embraced celebrating the teams podium as well as their now confirmed 4th place in the constructors, an amazing feat considering they were back markers last year.
This podium, although achieved through some luck, highlights McLaren’s return to decent form this season after there restructure and offers incentive to their team to continue the strong development into 2020 and 2021 in which they’ll be powered by the Mercedes engine once again for the new regulations.
McLaren could soon be fighting for podiums consistently once again and I can’t wait to see if they mix with the ‘big boys’ in the coming years as Zak Brown, Andreas Seidl, Carlos and Lando lead McLaren into the next generation of F1 .