McLaren looking forward after disappointing qualifying
By Mat Coch
Sunday 9th May, 2021 - 6:37am
McLaren is looking forward to the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix after a qualifying session team boss Andreas Seidl described as ‘disappointing’.
Daniel Ricciardo will line up seventh on the grid for Sunday’s race, with team-mate Lando Norris two spots further back.
“After quali we obviously felt a bit disappointed because there was more in today,” Seidl admitted when asked about the session by Speedcafe.com.
“We had a car to fight higher up today in qualifying, or to end up higher up.
“But unfortunately, with the way how qualifying evolved with Lando losing one set of the soft tyres in Quali 1, and then not managing to get the second run of new tyres in with Daniel at the very end, I think we missed out a bit.”
Norris’ flying lap in Qualifying 1 was hampered by traffic at the Turn 14/15 chicane, forcing the Brit to go for another later in the session on, burning up a second set of new tyres in the process.
Ricciardo meanwhile found himself at the back of the train to begin his final flying lap in Qualifying 3, and didn’t cross the line to start his final flier before the chequered flag was flown.
It left him resigned to seventh in the grid, though the Australian took the positives out of the day.
“Barcelona is so familiar, and I think some familiarity is good for me right now to kind of get up to speed,” Ricciardo said when asked by Speedcafe.com about his qualifying session.
“In saying that, yesterday was a bit of a struggle. We still had a lot of work to do overnight.
“Today we hit the ground running, FP3 was much better and quali was just steady progress, going a bit quicker each run.
“I was certainly uncomfortable,” he added.
“Say if there’s 15 corners on this track, 10 of them, I would say, I was feeling good in, but there’s still a handful which I know I can execute better.
“I’m not saying I could have done that better today, but I know over time I’ll start to just find those extra little half tenths here and there to get a bit more out of the car.”
Seidl also recognised the gains made by his new recruit while looking to put a positive spin on his team’s chances in the race.
“The good thing is Daniel definitely made a good step forward [and] we have a competitive car,” he observed.
“I think we’re starting from P7, P9 tomorrow; we’re still in a very good position to fight again for a lot of points.”
The Spanish Grand Prix gets underway at 23:00 AEST tonight.