McLaren F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are seeking a positive change in direction at this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany.
It’s the first time Formula 1 has raced at the Nürburgring since 2013, and the McLaren drivers last raced here in the junior formulae, with Sainz Jr.’s last foray at the German circuit in 2014, and for Lando, he celebrated a win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2017.
“Last time out in Germany I managed to finish P5 in tricky conditions,” said Sainz, “however, racing at the Nürburgring this year instead of the Hockenheimring presents a different challenge. We do expect the conditions to be similar to last year’s race in Germany with it being cold and potentially wet. I’ve raced there before back in 2014 but never in a Formula 1 car so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with these cars.”
Norris added: “I’m looking forward to racing at the Nürburgring this weekend as it’s a cool track that I enjoyed driving in F3 and F4. It’s great to see it on the calendar this year. I won the last time I raced there, back in 2017, in difficult weather conditions, so I’m hoping my previous experience will help me hit the ground running on Friday.”
The team failed to score any championship points last time out at Sochi Autodrom, with Norris finishing in fifteenth place, while Sainz retired on the opening lap following a misjudged re-entry to the track.
“The last race in Russia was definitely not the way I hoped to finish a weekend that had started off quite well. I always review in detail what I could have done differently, remember it and move on.” said Sainz. “We go racing again this week and my focus is now 100% on the Eifel Grand Prix. There are still many points at stake and every race counts for both Championships, so believe me I’ll push flat out until the last chequered flag of the year.”
Norris reiterated his team mate’s positive state of mind, saying: “We had a tough weekend out in Russia but, looking back on it, we know where we need to improve for Germany. Our rivals are right on our heels, but we just need to focus on ourselves and perform to the best of our abilities on track.”
It will be Team Principal Andreas Seidl’s home race, and with that he hopes the team can turnaround their fortunes. “We came away from Russia with no Championship points which is a first for us this season,” said Seidl. “We’ve had the chance to reset, prepare and focus on our next race in Germany.”
Seidl continued: “As a team, we’re determined to come back stronger, but we know our rivals will also be challenging for good points. We need to keep consolidating our strengths, improving our weakness, being mentally resilient and pushing as one unified team in the fight for points.”
The McLaren F1 Team goes into the eleventh round of the 2020 season third in the Constructors’ Championship only two points clear of their nearest mid-field rivals BWT Racing Point Formula One Team and with Norris fighting hard to defend fourth place in the Championship from Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo who sit one and two points behind the 20-year-old.