McLaren Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris say that conditions at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas were tricky during qualifying for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.
Speaking to Paddock Eye following the action, Ricciardo said that the conditions on Sunday should make for an exciting race while Lando Norris said that he hopes that the team will be in a position to beat at least one of the Ferrari’s. Ricciardo said that the heat at the circuit was nice given the time of year and that they are both looking forward to the race.
Speaking Paddock Eye during the same call, McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl told Paddock Eye that he was happy with the performance of both drivers today as they will start the race from sixth and seventh places respectively. Seidl said that the team are hopeful that they can beat at least one of the Ferrari’s in the race while he is also confident that Lando and Daniel can keep Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas behind them.
McLaren’s two drivers are starting the race Sunday right behind the Ferrari pairing of Charles Leclec and Carlos Sainz and with the elevation changes into turn 1, it is going to make for an extremely interesting start to the race. Speaking following the action, Daniel Ricciardo said:
“Both runs in Q3 were really close with Carlos [Sainz]. I was happy to have the clean side of the grid but then I remembered Bottas has his penalty. I was most happy in Q1 with the car, and then it got a little more difficult through the session. I don’t think the track improved that much as the session went on. So, I felt like I was fighting it a little more. The last lap was okay, considering it was hard to do a perfect lap with the conditions, so it was clean enough – I don’t think there were two or three tenths in it. Obviously with small margins you could always say Sainz was achievable, but beyond that, I don’t think Charles [Leclerc] was within reach. There’s obviously the battle that we’ve got with Ferrari, so they got us today, but with Sainz starting on the Soft, hopefully we can come back tomorrow.”
Lando Norris commented on his qualifying saying:
“I’m not too satisfied with the result today, for two reasons: one, I think I could’ve done a better lap, and two, we’re behind both Ferraris. So, it’s not what we wanted today – but we’ll try to make up for it tomorrow. We’re starting on the Medium tyre and one of the Ferraris is on the Softs, so maybe we can take advantage of that and finish ahead of them. We’ll work on our strategy overnight and make sure we’re ready for any opportunities tomorrow.”
Andreas Seidl also commented following the qualifying session saying:
“P7 and P8 for us today is a solid result from qualifying – just not quite enough to get ahead of the two Ferraris. Tomorrow’s race is going to be interesting: ambient conditions will be hot, tyre management and strategy will be key. We’ll work hard overnight with a view to making up some positions and giving our fans in this brilliant crowd something to cheer.”