Barring an unlikely turnaround, McLaren will finish ahead of Renault in the Manufacturers' standings. In Austin, after his Grand Prix of Mexico to forget, the Woking team managed to raise their heads by scoring 10 points, no doubt decisive in this fight for 4th place.
"It was important for us to rebound after a very difficult Sunday in Mexico City" says Andreas Seidl, McLaren F1 team manager.
"With 10 points in the pocket, I am very happy with this solid race weekend. "
"In my opinion, the qualifying performance was very positive, so it seems that we have really passed a course in this area compared to the rest of the middle grid. In addition, the departure of our two cars was again formidable. "
Not everything is rosy for McLaren, as Ross Brawn has pointed out. In race, it is the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo who took the upper hand on both McLaren. Seidl knows where his team still needs to work.
"What we need to work now is the next step, the race itself, not just the qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo was slightly faster last Sunday. We have seen twice that we have a problem with aerodynamics, which suddenly came up. First in Mexico City, then in Austin. Maybe we should further convert these performances from Saturday to Sunday. "
Carlos Sainz, despite McLaren's clear progress in qualifying, is also worried about Renault's race pace.
"We are approaching 4th place, especially with a double finish in the points, it is a very good result. We still can not relax, because even if we are half a second faster than the Renault in qualifying, they have the same pace as we in the race, or maybe even a little faster than us. And I do not like it. So you have to find a way to keep that five-tenth advantage in the race. "
Lando Norris, on the other side of the garage, draws a statement identical to that of Carlos Sainz.
"We have this advantage. In settings qualifications, our car is stronger, or works better with the new tires, we can extract more. "
"But in the race, it's different. We are slower than the Renault, probably faster than the rest of the other teams. But we lose that advantage we have in qualifying – an advantage of four or five tenths; we are then (in the race) two or three tenths slower than them (the Renault). "