McLaren endure ‘bad and frustrating’ Mexican Grand Prix

by Steven Batey

McLaren F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris both suffered challenging races at last weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, with the Spaniard finishing out of the points and Norris retiring on lap 48.

Sainz had managed to get up to fourth on the opening lap of the race after Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided ahead of him but after pitting for hard tyres, he soon lost his front-running pace and would end the race out of the points in thirteenth place behind the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

Speaking after the end of the 71-lap race, Sainz said: “It’s been a bad and frustrating afternoon for the whole team. After such a strong qualifying yesterday and a great start today, managing to slip into fourth place, it was very disappointing to go backwards after the first pit-stop.”

“The Hard tyre simply ruined our race. We need to analyse in detail what happened and why we had such a poor stint on that compound. Austin is right around the corner so there is no time to lose. We’ll keep our heads down and work hard to come back stronger next weekend.”

Teammate Norris meanwhile retired from the race on lap 48 having already been released in pitlane earlier in the race with a loose wheel that then had to be refitted and he went a lap down as a result.

Norris did start the race well but after his pitstop disaster he ended lapping at the back of the field and was then later retired by the team.

He added on his race: “I had another really good start, a good first few corners and managed to get ahead of one of the Red Bulls and one of the Mercedes. My first stint was good and we had better pace than the Toro Rossos.”

 “I think we had a wheel nut cross-threaded at my stop, I’m not too sure, but the team decided to play safe by immediately stopping the car and bring it back to check it. I was running pretty much a lap down and had several blue flags which made the race even more difficult. Some parameters of the car were beyond the limit and we retired to avoid further damage.”

Norris retired from the race. Photo Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Team Principal of McLaren Andreas Seidl added on the duo’s performances: “After several good Sundays in a row, unfortunately today didn’t go to plan at all. We couldn’t continue the good race pace we’d shown over the previous two days, which is something we need to analyse and understand.

Therefore, after a strong start, we weren’t able to stay in the positions from which we’d started the race and fell out of the points with Carlos, whose pace dropped a lot when fitting the Hard tyre – something we need to investigate.”

“On Lando’s side, after having a great start as well, we unfortunately had an issue with the wheel nut on one corner at his pit-stop. Our policy is to be completely safe and we stopped the car immediately to check it and fix it, even if this meant his race was over very early.

Later, some of the parameters of his car were over the limit, so we decided to retire him to save further damage. Thanks to the entire team, Carlos and Lando, for the hard work this weekend. Let’s reset, learn from the issues we were facing today and come back stronger.”

The next round of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship takes place in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas.

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