McLaren Racing Formula One Team Principal Andreas Seidl says that the Woking-based outfit was surprised by the level of grip at the Lusail circuit given that up until Friday, Formula One cars had never driven on this circuit. Speaking to Paddock Eye during a post-qualifying media briefing Seidl said that there is plenty of grip on the track the team expects the race on Sunday to be challenging particularly given the fact that the race will take place at a later time meaning that there will be cooler track temperatures.

Lando Norris had a strong qualifying session for the team as he will start Sunday’s 57 lap race from sixth place on Sunday after setting a qualifying time of 01:21.731s while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo starts the race from 14th place following a qualifying time of 01:22.597s.

Andreas Seidl commented saying:

Mixed feelings after our first qualifying session at Losail with P6 and P14 on the grid. Lando managed to improve run-by-run through qualifying, nailing the final lap which gave us a good P6 to start the race from tomorrow. Unfortunately, on Daniel’s side we couldn’t manage to find that last tenth in Q2, which meant P14 for him.

“We’ll work up different strategies for both drivers to advance in what promises to be an exciting first Formula 1 race here in Qatar.”

Lando Norris commented following the action saying:

Very happy with today. We made a good amount of improvement from FP3 into qualifying and we weren’t expecting P6. I’m definitely pleased with that, especially because it wasn’t an easy P6, but it was done with probably one of the best laps I’ve done in qualifying for quite a long time. I’m satisfied with my job and what we did as a team as well. That helped us out today. So, a positive day overall. We didn’t get through on the Medium tyre, which is the only negative – that’s going to make our life a little more tricky than we want tomorrow, but we still have a good opportunity to score some solid points

Daniel Ricciardo commented saying:

Obviously not a great session in terms of position. I’d have loved to have been more competitive, but I just struggled to find those last few tenths. It felt like if I tried to find it, I’d gain a little bit here, but lose it in the next part of the corner. I got to a little bit of a stalemate with where I could improve. So, still some things to look at and work on and see where the time is. I think it’s just a little bit everywhere. No big mistakes or errors, just lacking that extra half-a-tenth in some corners. We’ll try to do something tomorrow from where we are. We’ve got strategy choice, but obviously we’re quite a long way out. We’ll see what we can come up with tonight.

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