McLaren's performance jump has a question mark

The reliability has punished the MCL34, although Norris has already led the middle zone in the first conventional circuit of the 2019 calendar.

Fernando Alonso said on the grid in Bahrain that it was not worth another year in Formula 1 "to be ninth or tenth", but Carlos Sainz was fighting for the fifth position when the incident with Verstappen and Lando Norris finished the sixth race, all in spite of a bad start, overtaking rhythm on the track to cars that were supposed to be superior like Gasly's Red Bull, Ricciardo's Renault or Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo It's the best result of a McLaren from Australia 2018, when the Asturian driver finished fifth and ahead of Verstappen, although on that occasion it was a circuit where it is very difficult to overtake.

"There is a lot of work ahead, but we left Bahrain with an encouraging result," said Gil de Ferran, who also he predicted "a very strong pace from Sainz" while he was on the track. The prospects at McLaren after the first two races of the year are good, they have already led the zone average in Sakhir and in qualifying have gotten three times in Q3 in only two great prizes.

For start, the MCL34 is not a car that should discard the high-speed and long straights, as happened with their predecessors. "Compared to the previous year, I think we have a good race car that we should improve in qualification. But it will be more or less there, maybe this year we depend less on the straights, in that sense it will be a bit new year because We will go to Canada, Spa or Monza saying that the weekend is lost, now we will have options to score, "says Sainz.

But not everything is perfect in the orange box, far from it. The reliability of the Renault engine remains in doubt after the break of Carlos's MGU-K in Australia and the official team problems that forced the abandonments of Ricciardo and Hulkenberg before the end of the Bahrain race. The performance jump of the power unit is evident, as well as its fragility, because in the preseason the turbo and its relationship with the leaks gave rise to problems. Although not all the fault is Renault: the gearbox has been another headache in the car of Madrid and that piece is manufactured in Woking.

A its favor, which benefits are in front of Alfa Romeo, Renault, Toro Rosso and at least one Red Bull, if Gasly does not work hard, in addition to Racing Point and Williams. And at the same time Haas, maybe something behind in qualifying, because the Ferrari engine has developed an unprecedented power in the hybrid F1 which also benefits the American team. And although there is a lot of work ahead in terms of reliability (for that, the tests in Bahrain with Sainz, Norris and Alonso on the track will also be used), as seen, only Mercedes has been free from unexpected breakdowns for now.

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