McLaren F1 Team had a poor display in qualifying at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Lando Norris was unable to reach Q3 and finished in a measly eleventh. After the running, Norris was handed a five-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags during the first part of qualifying.
He failed to respect the yellow flags which were flown when Nicholas Latifi beached his car into the gravel.
Norris said “A difficult qualifying. I don’t think we managed to extract enough out of the car to do better today, we just struggled throughout. Maybe we didn’t choose the right tyres for the start of Q2, so we were a couple of laps behind the others. At that point I don’t think we managed to get the Wet tyres in the right window to improve enough and make it to Q3. We’ll have to try to fight our way forward tomorrow and take any opportunities that come our way.”
Carlos Sainz Jr. also failed to make it through to Q3 in a double omission for McLaren. Sainz Jr. qualified in thirteenth but was also slapped with a grid penalty. He obtained a three place grid penalty for blocking Sergio Pérez while on an out-lap.
The Spaniard was demoted to sixteenth. However, due to him getting his penalty before Norris’, once Norris’ came into affect, his new starting position was fifteenth.
“Very disappointed with today. We expected a tough quali because we’ve struggled to warm up the tyres all weekend. However, I think we compromised the session with the Intermediate at the start of Q2 which obviously didn’t work as expected, and by the time we were managing to get the Wets to warm up properly, the session was over and I could only do two timed laps before the chequered flag. It wasn’t enough,” said Sainz Jr.
“For the race the conditions look to be drier again, so we’ll do our best to recover from today.”
Team Principal Andreas Seidl bemoans that the day has been a tough one for the team. He accepted the cars to make it through to Q3 so the early omission was a surprise to the team.
Seidl said: “It’s been a very tough Saturday for the team. Having neither car in Q3 was definitely not what we had in mind coming to the circuit this morning. Track conditions were difficult during the qualifying session, requiring rapid decision-making. With hindsight, deciding against the full Wet tyre at the start of Q2 potentially cost us the chance to progress as we couldn’t put the Intermediate tyres in the right window.
“Points are distributed tomorrow and not today. It’s important for the team to reset, apply what we’ve learnt in different conditions so far this weekend and get ourselves into the fight for points tomorrow.”