With the McLaren pair putting on the closest qualifying battle among the field (won 11 to 10 by rookie Lando Norris), Andreas Seidl, after his first season as the team’s boss, is sure of the talent of both drivers.
“For Carlos [Sainz] we have to keep in mind we had races where we lost good points with him in technical issues. The result of qualifying 11-10, which is great for me to see, it simply confirms we have two top quick drivers” stated Seidl.
The German became McLaren’s head in early 2019, the year in which the orange-painted cars sent flying the first sparks of what could be a rise from the ashes for the team: fourth place in the constructors’ championship, one podium and Carlos Sainz finishing P6 overall in the standings perfectly represent the huge step forward the Brits have made.
“What Carlos has done the last races just confirms that he’s the right guy for us also in the future.” It’s safe to say Lando Norris’ season (amazing since Australia as well) has properly taken off after Spa’s heartbreaking retirement. Seidl of course acknowledged it: “From the second half of the season onwards Lando Norris was a complete F1 race driver.” The Englishman’s debut year has been outstanding as a whole, with only technical issues keeping him outside the top ten in the championship. Very few mistakes from his side and a straight-away speed not common among rookies. Consistency was found along the way as well, with six points finishes in the last nine races.
“For Lando as a rookie, it is clear to see that he was simply building it up over the course of the season. He was quick straight out of the box in Melbourne, he went into his first ever qualifying and ended up in Q3, which proved it was the right choice to go for him and what a talent he is.” Statement confirmed by the early contract renewal dated back to July 2019.
“At the same time –Seidl continued- it’s normal that he took his time in order to, let’s say, build up experience and go more and more aggressive into the races, especially the race starts where he took it more conservative at the beginning of the season… and then from the second half of the season onwards he was a complete F1 race driver because when you see the starts he has done, he was impressive; he was unlucky with technical issues in the way of big results.”