The Mclaren F1 Team’s hopes of finishing third in the Constructors’ standings are all but over, after a highly disappointing Qatar Grand Prix which saw Daniel Ricciardo finish twelfth and Lando Norris ninth after a late puncture at the Losail International Circuit.
The triple-header could not have gone any worse for Mclaren in their fight for third against Scuderia Ferrari, the Qatar Grand Prix sealed off what has been a disappointing few weeks for the team. Norris was looking set for a top five finish which would’ve kept the fight well and truly alive, had it not been for a late front-left puncture forcing him into the pits for an unplanned stop.
Ricciardo too had a difficult race after starting towards the bottom third of the grid, his hopes of points were hampered as well by fuel issues during the race. Mclaren now sit 39.5pts behind Ferrari with two races to go, the team will be hoping for a miracle from the remaining two races.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl is thankful for his team’s hard-work, and that they all need a week to reset the batteries before the final two events of the brutal 2021 season.
“This triple-header didn’t go our way. Lando drove a strong race today and looked set for P4 on merit, thanks to a competitive car, good strategy and an excellent pit-stop. A puncture took him out of contention, and he finished P9. When that happened, his Hard tyre had done fewer laps than the Soft tyre did in his first stint, so this was very unexpected.
“For Daniel, it was always going to be tough to get into the points from P14. He drove a very strong first stint that pulled him up into contention, but then had to save an unusually high amount of fuel. We’ll have to investigate why that was required on his side.
“My thanks to the entire team, who have worked incredibly hard, both here at the track and back at the factory, and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, who have given us excellent support. Everyone has pushed very hard through this intense run of races. We’ll go home now, reset, take a weekend off and try to finish the season on a high.”