After the last sprint race of the season, McLaren invited MotorLat and other selected media to their briefing with Andreas Seidl, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
In Brazil, Formula 1 managed to try for the last time in 2021 the format of the sprint races and both drivers were asked for their opinion on that format and what their impressions on Friday in a racing weekend were. Was this one better than the other two?
“I don’t mind them – Daniel Ricciardo says, focusing on sprint races and the impact it has on fans – I like Fridays and I like one practice heading straight into quali, that makes Friday quite fun and intense .Usually Friday is the less exciting time of the week, going practice after practice. I think that having a quali session on a Friday evening is fun and I don’t mind that, it’s very nice to have them.”
“I completely agree wih Daniel – Lando Norris echoes – I like Fridays a lot, I like challenges on what can be an attractive qualifying. Maybe there is a little bit more racing that was in Silverstone. I think there’s a better show. This was a better track to do this.”
For Ricciardo, the sprint race has been a though day, as he finished P11. When asked about what the problem was according to him and how he thinks he will have to manage the race on Sunday, the Australian says:
“Unfortunately it was though from the first laps – he explains – Basically, I did not pick the best line to put myself in, after the Turn 1 I went a bit boxed- in. It was decision making which was not the best choice today. Obviously I will do what I have tomorrow and put myself on the right side of the track.”
Lando Norris managed to beat Charles Leclerc but Carlos Sainz finished third. Ferrari is showing a good pace but how will McLaren work to keep up with their pace?
“We’ll try to make improvements overnight and see if we can come out even stronger tomorrow – Norris ensures – We did everything we could. Even though we didn’t quite have the pace of the Ferraris, we still managed to get ahead of one of them. We’ll try even harder tomorrow.”
Asked about his own impression on the performance, team principal Andreas Seidl states that they can do better but they have already accomplished their goals.
“Today there are mixed results in sprint qualifying. Lando had a good sprint, moving forwards, which was the objective, overtaking Gasly and Leclerc. Daniel unfortunately got boxed-in at Turn One and lost momentum and positions because of that, before being stuck in a DRS train for pretty much the entire race”.
In conclusion, the German feels quite satisfied with their pace, adding up that they could fight with the other cars.
“Execution from the team was good today, and the positive is that, in terms of pace, we were in a position to fight with the cars around us. Points are on offer tomorrow, and we’re fully focused now on race preparation”