After a solid start in Australia, the McLaren Renault team showed further promise in the Bahrain GP qualifying session, taking both cars to Q3 on soft tyres.
Spanish driver Carlos Sainz didn’t finish the race in Australia but will hope for better starting from P7 on the grid. Lando Norris was 12th in the opening race and will start tomorrow’s race from P10.
Overall, it was a good performance from a team hoping to make an
“That was a good quali. I’m happy with how the session went and it’s a pity we missed out on P6 at the end. Nonetheless, I think we extracted everything from the car and P7 is a good starting position for the race.
“I really want to
congratulate the whole team, here and back at the factory. Getting both cars in
to Q3 shows their hard work over the winter is paying off. Everyone should be
proud. The job is not finished though, I want my first points of the season, so
now it’s time to focus on the race. I think from P7 we have a good chance, so
let’s go for it.”
“Overall I thought [qualifying] was pretty good. My runs were okay in general although I made a couple of mistakes and don’t feel I did as good a job as in Australia. I know the track here more and it’s not as technical but it’s easier to make smaller mistakes. I had a little under-rotation into Turn 10, not even a lock-up, but lost a little time.
“It would have been nice to be
alongside Carlos and it was close. I think he was only just over a tenth ahead,
so I’m reasonably happy. It’s obviously going to be difficult from P10. I don’t
think these tyres are too bad but the guys behind have more choice to start on,
so we’ll just have to see how it goes!”
Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director
“This classifies as a good day at
the office. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank our
engineers and all of the team back at the factory in Woking for the tremendous
effort that went behind today’s performance. We have brought several upgrades
this weekend which have delivered that little bit extra performance that we
needed and getting both cars into Q3 was a good reward. Our engine partner
Renault also deserves credit for putting us in this position.
“Obviously Carlos and Lando
performed impeccably today and gave our team the best qualifying result that we
have achieved for quite some time. We are obviously very happy and excited to
have put up such a good qualifying session in front of our ‘home crowd’ here in
Bahrain. However, this is still just qualifying and we must keep our heads down
and execute a good race tomorrow. A lot of work ahead, but a good first step.”