The McLaren F1 Team left the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve without adding to their 2019 points tally on Sunday, with Lando Norris retiring early and Carlos Sainz Jr. finishing outside the points in eleventh.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl rued several incidents that put paid to the team’s chances of securing another top ten result, with the results of others closing the gap McLaren had over them prior to the race in Canada.
Just two points separates McLaren in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship from the revitalised Renault F1 Team, who took sixth and seventh place with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg, while both Racing Point F1 Team and Scuderia Toro Rosso broke into the top ten.
“After having some good Sundays at recent races, there were several incidents today which meant we weren’t able to score the points we hoped would be on the table with the pace we had in our cars,” said Seidl.
“Unfortunately we lost Lando’s car quite early in the race due to an mechanical issue at the rear of the car, which we still need to investigate in full once the car is back in the garage.”
Several days after the race, Seidl still says there is confusion to just how Norris’ suspension failed and caught alight, and investigations are still ongoing to try and solve the riddle.
“We’re still investigating,” said Seidl to Motorsport.com. “We had an overheating rear with a mechanical failure, but we still have to find what the reason is, we don’t know yet.
“We just saw that temperatures suddenly went up, the brakes went long as well, and we saw that he was going wide, which is where it started to happen.”
Norris’ team-mate Sainz was also in the wars early on as a tear-off visor found its way into one of his brake ducts, causing his brakes to get extremely hot very quickly, resulting in the team calling him into the pits at the end of lap three.
From there on in, he was resigned to conserving his hard Pirelli tyres until the chequered flag, but just when it mattered, his tyres were not at their best as he lost ninth place to Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and tenth place to Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat in just two turns.
“For Carlos, we had to pit on lap three as one brake corner was overheating,” said Seidl. “Frustratingly, we found some parts of a tear-off visor inside one of the brake ducts, which we tried to remove as best we could.
“At the same time we had to put him on the Hard tyres, and try to manage the pace over the remaining distance of the race to make the strategy work by not adding an additional pit-stop. Carlos did a great job managing the tyres for 67 laps but unfortunately ran out of tyres in the last five laps and there was no way for him to hold the two cars behind.”
Seidl says it is important for McLaren to forget about the disappointments in Canada and turn their focus on attempting to return to the points in the French Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“It’s important now for the entire team to leave this weekend behind us as quickly as possible and focus on preparation for the French Grand Prix,” said Seidl.