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Portugal GP: Qualifying team notes - McLaren

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01/05/2021

Lando Norris: "Reasonably happy with today. A little bit annoyed because we could've been a few positions further up - maybe three - and fourth on the grid, I would say. I can be confident in saying that. I got caught on my Q3 run two lap on the new tyre because of another car backing up in front of me out of the last corner, so I had to abort the lap quite early on, which was frustrating.

"Apart from that, I'm pleased with my performance today. The car was good. Tricky to drive, but fast, and I was still P7, surprisingly, so I'm happy. There are definitely some positives and we'll see what we can do in the race tomorrow."

Daniel Ricciardo: "A frustrating day. We'd had a positive day yesterday, so I wouldn't have bet on this today. I'm not really sure where it went wrong yet, we'll have to look at it this evening. Q1 goes very quickly and we just didn't get any clean laps in. The Medium tyre felt pretty good, and I was pretty happy. Then the first lap on the Soft was a bit interrupted by traffic at the start of the lap, and the end of the lap was just a little bit messy. We tried to go again but the tyre fell away really quickly and we just didn't have the pace.

"P16 is far from where I want to be, so I've just got to figure it out, get some sleep and wake up tomorrow ready to do better."

Andreas Seidl,Team Principal: "P7 and P16 is not what we had in mind today when we arrived at the track this morning. We're definitely disappointed at the moment with the outcome of qualifying.

"Unfortunately, Daniel, after three good practice sessions when he felt a lot more comfortable in the car, couldn't repeat the performance today in Q1, which unfortunately meant an early end to his qualifying. This evening, together with Daniel, we'll analyse what happened.

"On Lando's side, it was again great to see the potential of the car at this track with an in-form Lando behind the wheel. Ending up P7 feels like a disappointment at the moment, looking at the lap-time Lando did in Q2. The track got slower in Q3 and conditions were very inconsistent, but still a better position was possible. Unfortunately, on his final run in Q3 he got caught out by another car slowing in front of him, so he didn't get a chance to set a time on the new tyres.

"On the positive side, it was again great to see the potential competitiveness of the car, which is a result of the continuous development and hard work by the team back at the factory. Those improvements in performance are very encouraging and we'll take them with us into the race tomorrow.

"As always, we'll put this disappointment behind us as quickly as possible and refocus again on tomorrow when points get distributed. We have two good drivers and a great team that will try to fight back tomorrow."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Portimao, here.

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1. Posted by kenji, 02/05/2021 0:16

"It's encouraging to see the support that Daniel is getting. It's no easy thing changing teams and with all the associated differences, it takes time. He did a better job earlier on and it's somewhat of a mystery why his car changed so much. He hasn't forgotten how to drive so hopefully he'll come back from this latest disappointment far stronger and work his way through the field. Daniel's no quitter and he has the ability to come back and attack so hopefully he can get into the points. It's a difficult track to pass on but if the cars fine he can do it.....As for Norris, he's driving very very well and proving that the car has a helluve lot of potential. Barring incidents he should come away with a decent haul of points. They'll need them to fend off a resurgent Ferrari."

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