Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz aim to keep 'good relationship' going as McLaren enter new F1 season full of optimism

The British-based team finished fourth last season and, in the 50th anniversary year of the death of founder Bruce McLaren, are aiming to build on that momentum

Carlos Sainz has built a good professional and personal relationship with McLaren teammate Lando Norris. Getty Images
Carlos Sainz has built a good professional and personal relationship with McLaren teammate Lando Norris. Getty Images

McLaren teammates Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were in jovial spirits at the launch of their new MCL35 Formula One car on Thursday.

The British-based team emerged from the doldrums to finish fourth in the constructors' standings last season and, in the 50th anniversary year of the death of founder Bruce McLaren, are aiming to build on that momentum.

Norris, a rookie last year as Britain's youngest F1 driver, and Spaniard Sainz both liked what they saw as the Renault-powered car was pushed out at the Woking factory.

"I pretty much designed the whole thing," Norris said, jokingly. "Everything we went through last year, all our comments and discussions between us as drivers has been put into this and based around that.

"It's a lot more my car, we've had the input into making this, so it feels a lot more my baby."

Sainz, the more experienced of the two at 25 years old and heading into his sixth season, said it looked slimmer and better: "I like it. I like it a lot," he said of the livery with its matt finish.

The two drivers hit it off last year, their friendly rivalry on and off track providing plenty of entertainment for the team's fans, and they made clear they expected that to continue.

"We managed to develop a good relationship with each other but also a good working relationship inside the team," said Sainz, who last year took McLaren's first podium since 2014 with an inherited third place in Brazil.

Norris, 20, said he was more confident, more relaxed, in his second season.

"Especially working with Carlos, there's a lot of things I had to improve on and work on," he said of 2019. "It's been good. It's made it a lot more fun, especially in my first year in Formula One.

"I've been able to settle into things a lot quicker than I thought I would and a lot of that's been down to Carlos and how we got along and helped each other. It's been a lot of fun and I hope to continue that way."

Updated: February 13, 2020 08:30 PM

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