McLaren thrilled with double top ten qualifying

by Ed Spencer

McLaren F1 Team was delighted with a double top 10 qualifying performance with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris qualifying seventh and eighth to lock out the fourth row of the grid.

The Woking-based team were constantly in the top 10 for all three of the qualifying sessions with Sainz briefly ahead of Valtteri Bottas in Q1.

Sainz was cautious about risking his tyres for Sunday’s race as the soft tyre degraded over the first two qualifying sessions.

It’s been a good day for us,” said Sainz. “The fact that I gave it a go on the Medium tyre in Q2 is a sign that we are on the right path and it just shows the confidence that we have in the car.

Without the traffic in sector 3, I would have been close to the cut, but risking Q3 with a second run on the Medium was a bit unnecessary given the pace I knew I had on the Soft.

Norris meanwhile was upbeat despite being outpaced by Sainz and struggling at times with his car around the twisty Mexican circuit.

“I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I struggled this weekend in terms of just not having a great feeling in the car. Finished up eighth and I don’t think it could have been much better than that with Carlos in seventh.”

The British rookie also thanked everyone at the McLaren factory for their efforts over the weekend as he hoped to repay them by bagging points.

“The team here in Mexico and the guys back at the factory have done a great job. Now we focus on tomorrow. My aim is for a good start and to have a clean race and try to grab some points.”

Team principal Andreas Seidl was pleased with both of his young charges’s efforts as he plots two different strategies for both drivers.

“Another very good qualifying session for Carlos and Lando together with the team maximising the potential of our car,” said Seidl. ” We continued our good form in Free Practice this morning and carried that momentum through into qualifying.”

“Starting seventh and eighth puts us in a very good position tomorrow again to score good points. We are looking forward to another exciting Mexican Grand Prix, which might see some different strategies tomorrow potentially mixing up the order we have seen after qualifying.”

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