It was a disappointing Turkish Grand Prix for the Mclaren F1 Team at the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit, with Lando Norris being the sole Mclaren in the points after finishing seventh, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line in thirteenth.
Norris saw his chances of finishing third in the driver’s standings take a massive nose-dive, after Valtteri Bottas won the grand prix to open up his gap to Norris in third. To make matters worse for the team, Charles Leclerc finished fourth with Carlos Sainz Jr also finishing in the points, shrinking the gap between Mclaren and Scuderia Ferrari in the constructors.
Norris believes he did everything he could in the tricky conditions, where looking after the Intermediate tyres was a challenge for everyone.
“A very long and tough race today mainly because of the conditions. It was very difficult to keep the Inters in a good window during the race, but I think we achieved everything we could in the end, so I have to be happy with P7. It was damage limitation for us at this track, but we came away with the best result that we could. So, happy with that and we just need to make more improvements for the next one. It’s important we recover and keep pushing next time out!”
“We had probably four good laps” – Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo had a difficult grand prix, the Australian who started last due to an engine penalty, struggled to make any ground during the race. The Honey Badger struggled with front grip, resulting in an early pit-stop for the Mclaren driver.
This gave Ricciardo his best four laps of the grand prix, until his Intermediates dropped away yet again with the track refusing to completely dry. In the end a race to forget for Ricciardo, the Australian however is already looking forward to the American Grand Prix for the next round of the championship.
“I think we had maybe four laps in the race where we had good pace but the rest was hard. In the beginning we struggled a lot with front grip, so it was really hard to stay close to the others, and then we pitted for a new tyre. After that I didn’t have great rear grip to start and was struggling but after a while it came good. We had probably four good laps in that stint where I could feel like I could really push on the tyre, which was what I was looking for.
“Of the entire race, that was the positive. I got a bit excited because I thought maybe it will just keep getting better and better, but it lasted four laps and then the rear dropped away again, so the last ten laps were a bit painful, just trying to hang on.
“Obviously, we were fighting for the points and that strategy was our best chance, but it was just really unpredictable. I know others went longer, with one going the entire race on one set, but at the end I saw my tyres and they were on their last legs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a strong race but we’ll try to analyse it. On the positive side, we’ve got plenty of brisket to eat very soon. That makes me happy, bring on Austin!”