McLaren: We’re pretty much in line with where we’ve been

McLaren report from Friday practice at the Mexican Grand Prix, round 18 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Carlos Sainz:

FP1 1m18.401s (+1.074s) 21 laps 7th

FP2 1m18.079s (+1.472s) 38 laps 8th

“I think it’s been another solid Friday, not finishing off in the best way with a scrappy lap on the Soft tyre in FP2 but, overall, I felt comfortable with the car and comfortable with the set-up.

“We haven’t made massive changes throughout the day and we completed our run plan, so that’s good news. Still, it looks like the big thing this weekend is going to be tyre graining and how to manage it. We’ll analyse the data gathered and get ready for tomorrow.”

Lando Norris:

FP1 1m19.299s (+1.972s) 23 laps 14th

FP2 1m18.349s (+1.742s) 36 laps 10th

“It was an okay kind of a day. I struggled with locking into Turn One and we’ve had a few niggles with the car. Things were better in FP2 and especially near the end of the session.

“The main thing is that there are clear points for the team and I to work on. There’s plenty of work for us to do overnight but I’m sure we’ll come back stronger tomorrow.”

Andrea Stella, Performance Director

“Racing in Mexico City is very interesting because it poses unique challenges associated with the low air density. It’s challenging for cooling the power unit and the brakes, and it’s challenging because there’s significantly less downforce available here than anywhere else. Aside from these traditional issues at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, we’re also challenged – perhaps even more so than last year – by tyre behaviour, with graining common across the field.

“During Friday’s sessions it was therefore important to work on the cooling package, on the handling of a low-downforce car and on improving our understanding of the tyres. The team did good work and we’ve gathered a lot of data to study tonight. In terms of performance, we’re pretty much in line with where we’ve been in previous races, and I’m hoping for a clean qualifying session tomorrow and good points on Sunday.”