Carlos Sainz Jr. feels ready to fight for another top ten finish this weekend at the Hockenheimring after Qualifying seventh on the grid for the German Grand Prix.
The McLaren F1 Team racer was pleased with the result of Qualifying, particularly as he felt that their rivals had some pace advantage over them, and it was only the ability to put the laps together when it mattered that he was able to qualify as high up the grid as he did.
“Obviously very happy with this qualifying,” said Sainz. “Especially because today I think our competitors had a bit of an edge over us. However, we managed to react very well throughout the session and I put together some solid laps to progress and put ourselves into Q3.
“We are in a good starting position for tomorrow. Everyone is speculating about the weather conditions for the race, but no matter what comes we’ll be ready to fight for another points finish.”
Team-mate Lando Norris was eliminated in the opening segment of Qualifying for the first time in his Formula 1 career and will start the race down in sixteenth position. He was disappointed not to be able to put a lap together when it mattered, but he hopes to turn his weekend around with a charge through the field on Sunday.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” said Norris. “It’s the first time I’ve missed out on Q2 – frustrated because of that and annoyed because it’s not giving me a very good starting position for tomorrow.
“There was more potential in the car as Carlos showed by getting into Q3. I just didn’t hook the lap up today when it mattered. I’ll just have to make up for it tomorrow.”
Team Principal Andreas Seidl said they knew Qualifying was going to be tight and would depend on ‘maximising every single detail’, and he revealed a battery pack issue was the cause of Norris’ poor result. He was, however, pleased that Sainz was able to get as much out of the car as he did to place seventh on the grid.
“Friday’s sessions were tricky for us in the heat but we did our homework overnight and, in cooler conditions today, we were able to extract more performance from our car,” said Seidl. “After FP3 we knew it would be a another very close battle in the midfield, where progress through qualifying would depend on maximising every single detail.
“Qualifying P7 and P16 obviously leaves us with mixed feelings. In all fairness to Lando, we had an issue with the battery pack which compromised his ability to get through to Q2 and his quali result overall. With Carlos, we got everything out of the car and he did a great job putting the laps together to secure a good starting position.”
Seidl says the aim is to get into the points with both cars on Sunday regardless of the weather conditions, and he says fans should expect an exciting afternoon.
“We’re still aiming to fight for points with both cars tomorrow and we’ve also seen the weather forecast, so we can expect an exciting race for the fans here in Germany,” said Seidl.