Mixed feelings for McLaren in today's qualifying session, as Lando Norris will start the race from P6, just like after last week's Sprint Qualifying, while Daniel Ricciardo was shockingly cut in Q2, signing the fourteenth time.
McLaren's Team Principal Andreas Seidl talked in the post qualifying press conference about the hardships of preparing the race and the strategy while seeing the track in different conditions than how it'll be during the race, having had two daylight practise sessions but only one with artificial lighting before tonight:
"To be honest, we were quite surprised already yesterday with how the track felt, we expected a lot more rushiness on track. I think to be so far means simply that sessions are very scheduled, having day sessions and night sessions, and a big difference in track temperature.
Another issue, frequently brought up, was the amount of track limits, and how they have changed over the last days.
"But this was also the additional challenge, to make sure that they would get this lap always done regardless of how they see or the track limits from FP2 through FP3, knowing that the track conditions will be completely different, modifying them and cancelling them, that's the biggest challenge."
"Generally, I think we have seen that also in the last two days that this is a very fast track, very fluent, but it has very damaging kerbs, that's why limits are the difficult part, so eventually, without these laps at the limit, that means the barrier [for the quali] was mixed, it was a mixed qualifying result."
McLaren's battle for P3 in the constructors's championship is very much still on, with both drivers from the Italian team starting again close to Norris and Ricciardo.
"We're starting between drivers of the same team, different positions start so it could be tricky to find the central, right line, pulling to the actual limit the fighting, sometimes keep a bit of a margin
"Tomorrow it'll be an interesting challenge in the race, as it has already been in the qualification," he concluded.
Seidl also expressed his disappointment against the many changes have been made in the last few days to the track limits, with Turns 2, 7 and 16 added just yesterday.
"To be honest, I'm angry with this clarification because, as always,they should put more thought, trying to have the same approach with every thing. I think slow and brittle, specials in all the new tracks, even in full sessions are things that we should sit together and discuss, it's good to actually have input as a team and for our drivers and then I think it would be definitely the wrong thing to not react on that," he added on the topic.