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Sainz says 2020 midfield battle the tightest he's ever experienced

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Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 4, 2020

After 13 races so far in 2020, positions three to five in the constructors’ standings are covered by just a solitary point – with Carlos Sainz, driving for fourth-placed McLaren, saying it’s the tightest battle he’s ever experienced in his career.

It’s Renault who, helped by a brace of podiums for Daniel Ricciardo in the past three races, currently lead the way with 135 points, with McLaren and Racing Point tied on 134 points just behind. And having spent his entire career in the midfield, Sainz – who’s scored 65 of McLaren’s points, compared to the 69 of team mate Lando Norris – said ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix that he couldn’t recall a closer fight.

READ MORE: Racing Point say Stroll has 'taken a battering physically and mentally’ as they look to rebuild confidence

“We’ve managed to score important points in the last races and the fight for third in the constructors’ is insanely close,” said Sainz. “I don’t remember a tighter battle in the midfield in recent years.”

logo 2020One point separates P3 to P5 ahead of Turkey

PositionTeam NamePoints
1MercedesMercedes479
2Red Bull RacingRed Bull Racing226
3RenaultRenault135
4McLarenMcLaren134
5Racing PointRacing Point134

Looking ahead to the Turkish Grand Prix, meanwhile, Sainz added: “We can’t afford to lose any opportunity and every session of the weekend is important. Extracting the most from the car, starting on Friday and into quali, can make a big difference for the race. Every little detail can have an impact, and with only four races left, we need to keep focused.”

FORM GUIDE: Who’s set to score big as the Turkish Grand Prix returns?

Like a number of drivers on the grid in 2020, Istanbul Park – last raced at in F1 in 2011 – will be an entirely new circuit for Sainz. But with the Spaniard on a three-race run of top-seven finishes – including seventh place at the hard-to-overtake-at Imola track two weeks ago – Sainz was hopeful of keeping his run going in Turkey this weekend.

“I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted us to race at Istanbul Park at the start of the year, but it’s great that we are,” said Sainz. “Another new track for me and for many others. It looks like an interesting old-school circuit that should provide a few opportunities to overtake, and hopefully we can put on a good show for the fans and bring home a good result.”

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