Sainz: Settling in at McLaren much easier than with Renault

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Carlos Sainz has revealed his move to McLaren for 2019 was much more seamless than his abrupt switch to Renault.

The Spaniard faced a baptism of fire at the French manufacturer, having stepped in at the United States GP in 2017 as part of the complex deal which saw Honda leave McLaren for Toro Rosso the following year.

Sainz, however, struggled to make a mark alongside Nico Hulkenberg and opted to make a big career move by leaving the Red Bull stable and joining the Woking-based outfit for 2019.

"It took me less time to adapt to the McLaren than it did to adapt to the Renault," he was quoted by GPFans.

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"We are still learning the car and I am still learning. You saw in Silverstone in the car you can surprise now and then.

"From Australia, I was fast. In Bahrain, I was fast in qualifying, I was fighting Max for a top-five place. I was there throughout those races but somehow the results never clicked.

"But as soon as the result arrived in Baku, suddenly everything started coming together."

Indeed, now Sainz sits P7 in the Drivers' standings with a decent chance of claiming sixth after Pierre Gasly's demotion back to Toro Rosso.

But as he sits in the seat previously filled by two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, Sainz played down the expectation of living up to his fellow Spaniard.

"I don't feel like I'm in the shadow of Fernando," he claimed. 

"I am only in my fifth year and I haven't even fought for a podium yet. So Carlos will always remain Carlos, just as Alonso will remain himself. I don't have to follow him, because I make my own way."