It was a day of mixed fortunes for the McLaren F1 Team in the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring after Carlos Sainz Jr. secured a fifth place finish, having started in tenth, while his team-mate, Briton Lando Norris suffered a retirement due to a power unit failure.
For Sainz, even though he was able to finish fifth, scoring ten points, he said the weekend had still been a challenge, with their main rivals finishing ahead of them.
He said: “It’s been a challenging weekend for us. We have to be fairly happy with fifth and those ten important points. I managed to be consistent on track and took advantage of the opportunities.
“However, our main competitors finished ahead and seemed to have better pace throughout the race. I never felt completely comfortable with the car, so we need to make sure we understand better the new parts.
“There are an important couple of weeks coming up to analyse what we do for the future and how we go into Portugal. Sorry for Lando today, it seemed to be the same issue as in Spa. We move on.”
“We could have scored some good points” – Lando Norris
It was a different story for Sainz’s team-mate Norris, who, despite his retirement, said that he had a good start, and that their pit-stop strategy meant they were able to make the best of a strong first stint.
He added he found himself down the field, causing him to lose out on a fourth place finish or potential podium. Despite his disappointment, he was thankful for the effort the team made, and is now looking ahead to the next race.
“Initially we had a good start. Our strategy and pit-stop meant we had a decent first stint that put us in a strong position. Then obviously we had the power unit problem before the pit-stop, which was costing us a lot of time every lap.
“I was just dropping further and further away from a potential fourth, and what looked like fighting for a podium. We could’ve scored some good points today and we haven’t. Thanks to everyone in the team for all their hard work and effort this weekend. It’s a shame – but on to the next one,” he concluded.
“A disappointing Sunday afternoon for us” – Andreas Seidl
Team principal Andreas Seidl branded the race as a “disappointing Sunday afternoon”, as they missed out on a double points finish, but nevertheless praised the team and drivers for their performances.
Before the race, McLaren mechanics had to change the power unit on Norris’ car, and it looked as though they were on course for strong points with both drivers before the engine issues the Briton befell later in the day.
“A disappointing Sunday afternoon for us here in the Eifel. The team did a great job with the strategy and pit-stops, and both drivers drove excellent races.
“We looked set for good points with both cars – and perhaps better with Lando running in fourth and chasing Daniel [Ricciardo] to fight for a podium.
“Unfortunately, we had another power unit problem after we already had to install a new engine this morning on Lando’s car. We need to wait for our colleagues from Renault to investigate, but it appears to be an issue similar to what Carlos experienced in Spa. On the positive side, Carlos raced to a good fifth and scored 10 important points.”