Andrea Stella, the Executive Director of Racing at the McLaren F1 Team, said it had been an interesting Friday for the team that ended with both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo Qualifying inside the top seven at Silverstone.
Norris had been an encouraging second quickest during Friday afternoon’s one and only practice session, but he was not able to make the front row for a second consecutive race weekend and was forced to settle for sixth. Team-mate Ricciardo was only 0.002 seconds back on Norris in seventh, with both less than a tenth of a second away from a place on the second row of the grid!
Stella admitted it was not straightforward for both cars to get into the top ten shootout at Silverstone, such was the competitive nature of the field, but to get sixth and seventh was a good result ahead of Formula 1’s first-ever Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday afternoon.
Ricciardo had finished ninth in Q2, just ahead of Norris, with the Briton just 0.025 seconds ahead of Alpine F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso in eleventh.
“Interesting day! The practice session this afternoon was intense, but we got through our programme and were well prepared for qualifying,” said Stella. “Qualifying itself was very, very competitive, with several teams producing good lap-times, making getting through the sessions by no means a foregone conclusion.
“Ultimately, we managed to make it into Q3 with both cars, Lando and Daniel drove very well and we’re very happy with the positions. It’s only the first step of a longer weekend, however, and we’re looking forward to sprint qualifying and the race.”