McLaren lost 3rd place in the constructors' standings at the Nürburgring during the last Grand Prix and will try to win it back this weekend in Portimao. However, the English side could just as easily lose another place to Renault, who are just two points behind in the constructors' standings.
After having to give up in Germany, Lando Norris therefore hopes to bounce back this Sunday in Portugal.
“The Nürburgring was the first time this season that we haven't been able to cross the finish line, which made me feel a bit disgusted. I gave it my all, but it wasn't planned and we missed out on getting good points. We are still in the fight and we have something to finish. We just need to focus on ourselves and take each race as it comes. "
“It’s really cool to be able to race at circuits like Portimão which are completely new to F1 during this unusual season. The circuit is probably new to a lot of guys, some of them have been there as juniors before. In fact, I got to do a two-day test there in 2011 with the MP4-26, in 2017, which was a bit different from the usual few practice laps at Silverstone. I'm not sure if this will give me a little edge over the drivers who are new to this track, but we'll have to wait and see. "
Carlos Sainz, 5th in the last Grand Prix, focuses on the evolutions: with McLaren’s latest at the Nürburgring, he felt he was never comfortable in the car. Getting them to work will be a tall order, as Portimao is a new circuit on the calendar and the teams are starting out blind or almost blind to the data.
“The last race in Germany was not our best weekend, despite a good result with 5th place. We have been working hard over the last few days with all the data collected during the race and we hope to be able to resolve the problems we faced when arriving in Portugal. "
“Portimão is definitely unknown to me, as it is to a lot of drivers and to F1. I love the challenge and looking to level up from the start of the weekend. Our rivals are performing well on the track and we always want to be in the battle to finish higher in the championship. There are six races left and we will keep pushing until the very last one. "
McLaren F1 manager Andreas Seidl confirms McLaren has spent his time "to analyze and understand the data collected at the Nürburgring to find the right conclusions".
Does this mean that the Nürburgring package will be kept?
“Based on this analysis, we will continue to use our new nose and new aerodynamic concept, with competitive settings known for the car. We will continue to make further developments to the car for Friday testing and we will also continue to explore and quantify the contribution of our new aerodynamic concept. "
“It's great to be in Portugal and on a new track this season, especially with the circumstances this year. This will be the first time that Formula 1 will race on the Portimão circuit, which will only be used for winter testing for the 2008-2009 season. Much like Mugello, the Portimão circuit is an unknown with limited historical data on the track, so we are trying to understand how current F1 cars will behave through simulation. I'm sure this will be a good test for all teams and drivers to fully understand the track and better prepare for qualifying and the race. "