The fourth row of the starting grid for the US Grand Prix will be totally orange. McLaren has accomplished its mission by unquestionably positioning itself as "best of the rest" behind the three top teams at the end of the qualifications on the circuit of Austin, and ahead of the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.
Enthusiastic, Carlos Sainz felt very pleasant sensations at the wheel of his machine, especially during the two most important rounds of the afternoon, in Q3. The Spaniard struggled to believe, returning to the paddock, that the car had so much room for improvement between Q1, already solid, and Q3.
"I am very happy", commented the one who will leave this Sunday since the seventh place of the grid. "The two rounds of Q3 were great: I found two or three tenths that I did not expect to have in the car or in me. Being in 1'32 '' is a really good feeling It's a big step forward and the car was very fun to drive in. It worked really well with the North wind. "
It is also on the account of the optimization of the direction of the wind that Lando Norris partly contributed to McLaren's good performance on Saturday. Eighth on the grid, having even signed the fastest time of the Q1, the young British had a little trouble to conceal his disappointment at not being able to win the internal battle against his teammate, and also thought about the race, during which he expects to encounter perhaps the opposite problem, and suffer from the wind.
"It was good for us compared to where we were yesterday [Friday]", he comments. "The wind has favored us today [Saturday]: we took advantage, and that's good, but on the other hand, it will turn again tomorrow [Sunday] in the same direction as yesterday … J ' could have progressed with yet another attempt but could not have done much better, so I'm happy, we'll focus on our race and try not to repeat Mexico ", concludes the one who is still haunted by the disappointment caused by a loose nut on the pits.
McLaren solidly occupies the fourth position of the World Championship, 38 points ahead of Renault.