Andreas Seidl was pleased with the way the McLaren F1 Team recovered from a poor final free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix in time to fight for places inside the top ten in Qualifying on Saturday.
The recently appointed Team Principal watched Carlos Sainz Jr. secure a top ten position at the Circuit de Monaco, while Lando Norris was just a tenth away from joining him in Q3 and will start twelfth.
The team went the wrong way with set-up on Saturday morning so had to revert back to a setting similar to what they ran during Thursday’s two practice sessions, which Seidl felt gave both drivers confidence again to attack the track and fight for higher grid positions.
“Well done to the team and our drivers for recovering well from FP3 which didn’t look that great,” said Seidl. “With the changes we made to our cars from FP2 to FP3, we somehow lost ground to our rivals in terms of pace.
“Both drivers struggled with grip and traction and weren’t happy with the balance of the car. The engineers did a great job staying calm, reverting back to settings from Thursday and adjusting the car to the different track conditions for quali. The car gave our two drivers a lot more confidence in quali and allowed them to push throughout, ending up in P9 and P12.”
Seidl says it was remarkable that Sainz was able to break into the top ten despite the final practice issues and the fact he missed the whole of the first session of the weekend on Thursday, while Norris was unfortunate to miss out on joining him inside that top ten by the smallest of margins.
“In his first ever Monaco F1 qualifying, Lando unfortunately missed Q3 by just over a tenth, which is the nature of the game with the midfield being so tight,” said Seidl.
“Carlos went through to Q3 in Monaco for the fifth time, which is quite remarkable this time considering he lost the entire FP1 session on Thursday.”
Seidl hopes the strong long-run pace the team showed during Thursday’s practice session around the principality enables them to fight for points on Sunday with both drivers.
“We now switch our focus to preparing for the race,” insisted Seidl. “We had good long-run pace in FP2, which should allow us to fight for good points tomorrow.”