Mexican Grand Prix – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz says the fact he initially even tried to get through Q2 on the Medium shows the team’s confidence.
Carlos Sainz starts the Mexican Grand Prix from P7, having had another one of his ‘best of the rest’ sessions behind the top three teams. The Spaniard is the first driver on the grid to be starting on the red marked Soft tyres, while the top six drivers start on the Mediums.
Sainz wasn’t quite comfortable enough in Q2 to get through on the Medium compound, although did give it a shot with his initial flying lap in the session. However, he and the team felt it was too risky to try braving it out and attempting another run on the Mediums and so, at the risk of being eliminated, swapped over to the Soft tyres for his last run. Making it through, he clocked a 1:16.014 to end up in P7.
“It’s been a good day for us.” he said afterwards. “The fact that I gave it a go on the Medium tyre in Q2 is a sign that we are on the right path and it just shows the confidence that we have in the car. Without the traffic in sector 3, I would have been close to the cut, but risking Q3 with a second run on the Medium was a bit unnecessary given the pace I knew I had on the Soft.”
“Anyway, another final good lap means I start behind the top teams tomorrow and that gives us a good fighting position.” Sainz continued. “We will have to manage the tyres carefully but I’m very happy with today’s result. I’m proud of the whole team and of how we keep on pushing. Hopefully tomorrow we can finish it off.”
Teammate Lando Norris tried a similar strategy to Sainz, switching to the Softs for his last run in Q2: “I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I struggled this weekend in terms of just not having a great feeling in the car. Finished up P8 and I don’t think it could have been much better than that with Carlos in P7.”
“The team here in Mexico and the guys back at the factory have done a great job.” Norris concluded. “Now we focus on tomorrow. My aim is for a good start and to have a clean race and try to grab some points.”