McLaren F1 Team had a bitter-sweet afternoon on Friday, with Lando Norris finishing fifth in both practice sessions, while Daniel Ricciardo put his car in the wall at the start of his Free Practice Two stint.
Currently fourth in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship constructors standings, McLaren are hoping to score more points at the Monte Carlo circuit – a circuit that has famously become almost impossible to overtake at in recent years due to the increased size of F1 cars.
In order to maximise the number of points they leave the weekend with, McLaren will be hoping for a good result in qualifying on Saturday – but with crucial data collection being missed from the second practice session as a result of Ricciardo’s accident, the Woking-based team have a bit more difficult of a job on their hands.
Andrea Stella, the Executive Director of Racing at McLaren, is optimistic about the MCL36’s pace so far this weekend.
“Monaco is always a challenge for drivers and for teams and, this year, that challenge seems even greater with a new generation of cars which seem quite temperamental. Lando’s sessions today were relatively clean, while Daniel lost most of FP2 with a crash at the Swimming Pool, the causes of which we are still investigating.”
“The most important thing is that Daniel is okay, and the team are now working hard to ensure we are ready to go for FP3. Overall, it seems like the car has decent potential this weekend, and our job this evening is to make sure we can exploit that pace and be competitive in qualifying and the race.”
While free practice is the best time to make a mistake, McLaren will be hoping for a drama-free weekend from this point onwards.