McLaren F1 Team had a respectable evening during both practice sessions for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was in scintillating form, as he has been throughout 2019. The Spaniard completed a combined total of fifty-three laps on his way to seventh in each of the two sessions.
Whilst the track conditions may had helped the twenty-five year old on Friday, he has warned that Saturday could be a different game when it comes to qualifying.
“A good start to the weekend here in Singapore, improving the feeling with the car step-by-step, taking the right decisions on set-up and finishing the day with two top-10s,” Sainz said.
“We need to stay alert though, because here the conditions change a lot from Friday to Saturday.
“Tomorrow we could find a different track and a different situation. We’ll work tonight to optimise the car and maximise our chances for qualifying.”
For his team-mate Lando Norris, the rookie was also pleased with his running. Despite the streets of Marina Bay being his first time on track, the Brit was very much on terms with Sainz by clocking his best time only a couple of tenths shy of him in the second session in ninth after being a position higher in the first.
Norris described what was “a decent and enjoyable day”, as he looks in competitive shape to be in the mix for Q3 on Saturday.
“A decent day. Obviously it’s my first time here and I felt I got up to speed pretty quickly,” Norris added positively.
“In FP1, especially the first half, it was more just trying to learn the track, getting to know the references, braking points, all the main stuff. Then we could already start working on the car and making some improvements, which was good.
“FP2 was the first time we did the high-fuel, long-run stuff. We now have the data to see what was good, what was bad and what we need to improve on – but on the whole a decent and enjoyable day.”
Technical Director James Key is aware of the challenges that Singapore can bring to a driver but was proud to get positive feedback from both of his drivers with the MCL34.
“Singapore is a very challenging track but a great venue to come to,” Key said.
“It’s the opposite of Monza and has a very different way of thinking about how we set the car up. FP1 involved some long changes in the garage, testing new aero components, so we had a bit of catching up to do in FP2. That went well.
“It looks, as always this season, very close in the midfield and we’ll have to work very hard to maximise our performance tomorrow. On the positive side, both drivers are happy with the car. Lando did a good job, being a rookie coming to a very technical circuit for the first time.”