McLaren facing 2020 dilemma as Renault close Constructors' gap

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Renault's strong performance at the Italian Grand Prix has McLaren stuck as they try to focus on 2020.

The French manufacturer has outscored their Woking-based customers and rivals by 25 points in the past two races reducing the gap to just 18 points in the fight for fourth in the Constructors' standings.

And speaking in Belgium, driver Carlos Sainz had warned any slip could be costly in their bid to finish 'best of the rest' behind the top three teams.

“I think as tight as the midfield is, if you lose focus on this year you could very quickly fall into a bit of pressure towards the end of the year and with that extra pressure, you never know what can happen in F1," he said.

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“As next year's car is an evolution of this year, anything you can learn this year trying to evolve the car you will improve next year's car too.

“I am 100 per cent convinced we need to keep working on this year especially since our margin is super small in terms of pace, not so much in terms of points. We need to keep working hard this year.”

However, after Monza, team boss Andreas Seidl is hinting 2020 remains his priority. 

“Of course we want to fight for this P4 as long as possible but at the same time for me, it’s a lot more important to take the next step with next year’s car,” he stated.

“So I don’t want to compromise next year by suddenly switching the focus on this year again.

“We have a plan in place for what we want to do this year, we have a plan in place for how we approach next year, and this is how we approach it.

“We plan to bring parts – not huge updates but just continuously bringing small things – for the next two or three races at least.

“We just have to see when we fully switch then to next year’s car and the development side. It’s still something which is open.”