McLaren: Best Quali Result for Quite Some Time

Remarks from McLaren after qualifying for the French Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.

Carlos Sainz: “First of all, big congratulations to the whole team and also the team back at the factory. I think this is a consequence of all the hard work that is going on back there, and the upgrades that we’ve been bringing recently. It just shows that we need to keep pushing and keep going in this direction. Secondly, on the personal side, I would say it’s been a bit of a tough weekend, even if it doesn’t look like it.

“I was trying a lot of experimental things yesterday and that probably made me be a bit on the back foot for today. I was not fully comfortable with the car, but I still managed to more-or-less recover and feel better today. We put in some good laps in quali to reach P6 in front of our rivals, and making it to Q3 with the Medium tyre gives us a good fighting chance for the race. Now we have to finish the job tomorrow!”

Lando Norris: “Coming into qualifying after yesterday and FP3, things were looking pretty good. Maybe not so much after FP3 – it got a lot closer than it was yesterday – but we were expecting that and weren’t worried. But it was still going to be very close.

“We made a couple of tweaks before quali, which I think helped. We did what we needed to do and I managed to do a decent lap. I messed up the last corner, getting a bit eager and overshot a little bit. Apart from that, it’s obviously a good result – but tomorrow’s the long one. Big thanks to the team.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “P5 and P6, congratulations to everyone here at the track and back home at the factory. It’s McLaren’s best quali result for quite some time. After two solid sessions yesterday and another good free practice this morning, we applied everything we’d learned, including tyre usage, for qualifying.

“After a well-executed quali from the team and both drivers, we managed to achieve all of our objectives, progressing to Q3 and being able to start on Medium tyres, which could be very important in terms of the outcome of the race. But we’re not getting over-excited with this result, we’ll get our heads down and stay fully focussed. Points only get distributed tomorrow.”