McLaren: Both drivers pulled it off when it counted

McLaren report from qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Round 21 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Yas Marina Circuit in the United Arab Emirates – the final race of the season.

Carlos Sainz

  • Q1 1m37.358s (Softs) 10th
  • Q2 1m36.308s (Softs) 6th
  • Q3 1m36.459s (Softs) 9th

“I’m very disappointed with that P9 when I’d been very strong in Q1 and Q2. I was looking forward to putting another good lap together in Q3, but the out-lap was far from ideal. We got ourselves into trouble with the Mercedes and Ferrari and my last attempt was compromised.

“It’s a shame, because matching my Q2 lap would have put us P7 easily. I expect a tough race tomorrow and we need to switch our focus quickly.”

Lando Norris

  • Q1 1m37.545s (Softs) 13th
  • Q2 1m36.764s (Softs) 8th
  • Q3 1m36.436s (Softs) 7th

“A good quali for me, Carlos and the team. We achieved P7 but a P6 grid start taking into account the Bottas penalty, so I’m happy. It’s been a pretty good couple of days. I’ve generally been fairly comfortable with the car, which has been positive.

“We knew quali was going to be tough and our aim was to get into Q3 and we did that. We’re ahead of the midfield guys we wanted to beat, so that’s a bonus. It couldn’t have been any better in terms of positions – it’s a good way to end the season.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “After a challenging Friday, the team here at the track, together with the support we got from the factory, made the right calls on improving the performance of our cars overnight. The team executed well again today in quali, both drivers pulled it off when it counted and it’s great for us to finish the last quali of the season with both cars in the top 10.

“Starting tomorrow in P6 and P8 gives us a good chance to climb further up the standings in the Drivers’ Championship which will be our focus. We’re looking forward to an exciting last race of the season and sending the MCL34 into retirement in race mode with a good result.”