Carlos Sainz delighted as McLaren driver clinches second P5 in a row: ‘It tastes better than Hockenheim’

Carlos Sainz admitted finishing fifth at the Hungarian Grand Prix “tastes better” than when he achieved the same feat in Hockenheim last week.

Lewis Hamilton dramatically overtook Max Verstappen near the end of an absorbing race to earn his 81st Formula One victory and extend his championship lead.

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But it was McLaren who topped the midfield once more as Sainz finished fifth ahead of Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly – his best ever Hungarian GP result – while Lando Norris crossed the line in ninth after a slow pit stop.

The roll continues for McLaren, with both drivers in the points once more, underlining their status as the fourth best team in this year’s constructors’ championship – and Sainz says the less treacherous conditions than at Hockenheim last week makes the result feel sweeter.

“It’s the second consecutive P5 which I think I’ve never done in my life so I’m very happy with that,” Sainz told Sky Sports after clinching his second successive 10-point haul.

“I don’t know why this P5 tastes a lot better than the Hockenheim one. It was more of a normal race.

“I managed to beat Pierre (Gasly) and managed to finish ahead of a Mercedes, because of their issues obviously, but it felt particularly good this time.”

McLaren move onto 82 points and comfortably lead Toro Rosso in the fight for fourth place – leading by 39 points with Belgium next up on the calendar after the summer break over the weekend of August 30 to September 1, live on Sky Sports.

The McLaren duo have recorded points in each of the last five races, while Sainz’s run of form means he will return from the break five points behind Gasly in the drivers’ standings.

Gasly was lapped by his team-mate Verstappen but the Frenchman never really had the opportunity to usurp Sainz as the Red Bull driver finished 1.4seconds outside of fifth place.

“He was very close, but he never really got a chance,” Sainz added. “I was thinking about it similarly to (Daniel) Ricciardo at Silverstone, just trying to get the car in the right places, making sure I didn’t make any mistakes and we didn’t give him the chance.

“Obviously, the base that we had here helped us.”

Norris: Pit stop cost me
Sainz heads for his traditional summer break in Mallorca in buoyant mood – and the Spaniard passed his team-mate Norris at the start, showing his confidence in unsuccessfully trying to mug the Ferraris on Turn Two around the outside.

At one stage, McLaren had fifth and sixth place, but Norris was delayed by a slow pit stop and the 19-year-old said: “Everything was going well, and the pit stop just felt quite slow. I was on the limits and all ready to go.

“It felt like it was taking ages, and especially when you’ve got all the adrenaline running through you, and you’re sitting there wanting to go. From my side, it was our only mistake which cost us a lot, but Carlos made up for it.

“It was a little bit frustrating as one error can cost you a lot and then you’ve got to do a lot in order to make it up.

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