Not for the first time in his F1 career, an unwell Lando Norris is set to carry his McLaren team’s hopes throughout the race weekend after qualifying in P4, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo could only manage P14 in Brazil.
“I’m extremely happy with today. I think we did the best job we could have done throughout the whole of qualifying. I think the only thing we could have done a little bit better was going out first in Q3 – but there was also some risk to that. So, apart from that, we made perfect decisions, and the team did an excellent job. The car was feeling good, even in the tricky conditions. I was extremely happy to be P1, P5 and P4 through the qualifying runs. I feel like I did a good job all day, even with how I’ve been feeling – and maybe wasn’t driving as perfectly as I should have done, but P4 is still a great position for tomorrow, so hopefully we can stay in that position and score some good points tomorrow.”
“It was a tricky session in tricky conditions. It was quite fun to be honest, but we didn’t have the pace. So yeah, that was a little tricky just to get it out of the first timed lap for the peak of the tyre. When I heard some lap-times of some of the others I was not really sure if that was possible. I simply didn’t have the pace once we put the slick tyres on. We’ll try to make up for it tomorrow though. The good thing is we’ve got the Sprint race as well, so you’ve got two chances and hopefully we can make up some ground.”
Executive Director, Racing Andrea Stella
“It’s a Sprint weekend here in São Paulo, so already on Friday evening we are discussing the outcome of qualifying. It was a tricky session today with changeable weather demanding some difficult decisions. For us, it was a bittersweet afternoon. We’re very happy to see Lando in P4 after he drove very well in all conditions. On Daniel’s side, qualifying P14, we need to review why we didn’t find more performance on slick tyres – so that we can recover positions in the Sprint and score good points in the race. In terms of overall preparation, we were a little concerned with our pace in FP1 but qualifying was more encouraging. We’ll do our due diligence tonight and prepare for the busy weekend ahead.”