It was not, as expected, the best Saturday for McLaren at Mugello.
Qualified as a blast for Q3, recent 2nd in the Italian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz, slipped to 9th, especially after the Renault Esteban Ocon went off the track. A service that maximized the potential of his car?
“I was on the edge of Q3 all weekend. I tried something different for qualifying because we were way behind and it was worth the risk. Doing something different, it worked to get into Q3 but I don't think I would have won much. You can see how struggling we are this weekend, Renaults and Racing Point are going a lot faster. Our pace was not very high, but with the joy of going into Q3, which we weren't expecting, I am aware that tomorrow will be a difficult day and that we will have to fight. "
Lando Norris, for the first time this year, missed a qualification in Q3. Only Max Verstappen and the two Mercedes have therefore ensured a presence in the top 10 at each session for the moment. The Briton qualified 12th and talks about a session " difficult ".
“Given the difficulties we encountered in FP3, there are some positives that we can take away today. The car was very far off pace this morning and I didn't have a lot of confidence so I struggled a lot during this session. We made good progress at the start of qualifying and the result could have been a lot worse, but obviously I'm still frustrated that I missed Q3 by a few tenths. Tomorrow, we will do everything to catch up a few places and enter the points. "
McLaren F1 manager Andreas Seidl also talks about a day " difficult " for McLaren at Mugello.
“Despite the car's progress in qualifying, we have to accept that the P9s and P11s were about all we could do and get. The gap with the cars ahead of us is not huge, which gives us the opportunity to fight tomorrow. We're going to do our homework tonight. "