Andreas Seidl felt the McLaren F1 Team’s preparation for Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday was hampered by the two red flags during the final free practice session, with neither Lando Norris nor Carlos Sainz Jr. making it through to the top ten shootout.
Hopes were high that they could break into the top ten with at least one car, but Norris was only eleventh and Sainz thirteenth, although both will move up a place thanks to Daniel Ricciardo’s grid penalty.
Seidl, the recently appointed Team Principal of McLaren, said the red flags, as well as some damage to Sainz’s car left the team on the back foot for Qualifying, which meant that both drivers fell short of the time needed to make it into Q3.
“Our preparation for qualifying was not ideal today as the two red flags and damage on Carlos’ car affecting his car balance didn’t give us perfect data,” said Seidl.
“We went into quali knowing that there were only a couple of positions left in the top 10 and that we would be fighting with very close competition. Overall performance was just not enough by a few hundredths to get us through to Q3.”
Seidl believes the team is in a good position to challenge for the points with both drivers on Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, particularly with the long-run pace they had during free practice and the free choice of starting tyre that both Norris and Sainz will have.
“We now switch our focus to preparing for the race,” said Seidl. “We saw some encouraging long runs yesterday in free practice, and now we have the opportunity of a free tyre choice for the start of the race.
“Both put us in a good position to fight for points tomorrow.”