McLaren with double top ten finish in well-executed qualification

by Sudha Sundararaj

McLaren for the fifth race in a row has both their drivers, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, qualifying in the top 10 positions. Sainz and Norris qualified in seventh and eighth positions at the 2019 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

The Woking-based team has made good progress in the 2019 season and is now consistently finishing “best of the rest” in qualification and the race.

Sainz sits in seventh position just one point behind Pierre Gasly in the drivers’ championship. The Spaniard has a chance for a good haul of points again in Sunday’s race.

Sainz said: “Great quali today! We managed to extract the absolute maximum out of the car. Two very good laps in Q3 means I’ll be starting again right behind the top teams in P7. I’m expecting a challenging day tomorrow because the wind is changing again from where it was yesterday, and that can make our race trickier.

“So, heads down, good work tonight and let’s make sure we finish it off tomorrow. Congratulations to the whole team again. Both cars leading the midfield is always a good sign.”

Norris has had some bad luck ruin his races recently. The young Briton was third in final free practice and topped the first qualification session. Norris said: “A reasonable qualifying. It was a decent job through Q1 and Q2. I just had some traffic on my Q1, run one laps, which meant I had to use a second set of tyres, and I only had one set for the final quali.

“I always had a better second run and so in Q3, when I only had one chance, I struggled a little bit more as everyone ahead of me had two sets of new tyres. P7 for Carlos and P8 for me is as good as we could get today.”

Team Principal Andreas Seidl was understandably happy with the progress made and said: “Another well-executed qualifying session by Carlos and Lando, together with the team maximising everything we have in our cars. All here at the track pulled together with the team at home last night, making the right conclusions and finding more performance for today.

“This even allowed us, for the first time this year, to save one set of tyres for Carlos in Q1, giving him the chance for two shots in Q3. When looking at the gap to the cars in front we’re definitely making progress.

“However, we still need to be cautious for tomorrow with the ambient conditions changing quickly here which may affect our car performance. Starting P7 and P8 puts us again in a very good position tomorrow to score points. We’re looking forward to another exciting race.”

McLaren will look to solidify their fourth position in the constructors’ championship with a good haul of points in the race.

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