Sainz: Qualie 'a good reaction to a very difficult weekend'

Following McLaren's impressive form at last week's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris... The post Sainz: Qualie 'a good reaction to a very difficult weekend' appeared first on F1i.com.

Sainz: Qualie 'a good reaction to a very difficult weekend'

Following McLaren's impressive form at last week's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have admitted that it's proving to be difficult going this time out in Mugello.

Sainz was runner-up last weekend while Norris finished fourth, but the team has been struggling to recapture that sort of form in Tuscany.

Sainz managed to put in a last minute flying lap in Q2 to put him through to the final top ten pole shoot-out round, but in doing do he bumped Norris out of the top ten.

“Today was a good reaction to a very difficult weekend so far," he said after the end of the session. "We finally managed to put a good lap together in Q2 and get through to Q3."

Subsequently Sainz was ninth fastest in Q3, but his final run was thwarted by late local waved yellows on the track for an incident involving Renault's Esteban Ocon which meant he couldn't improve on his time.

"It’s disappointing to not fully see what the car was capable of doing in Q3 due to the yellow flag," he said. "But in general I’m happy with the turnaround we made.

“We’ve made a lot of set-up changes across the weekend and now we’re ready for a challenging race tomorrow, when we’ll try our best to fight for points.”

Norris will be 11th on the grid tomorrow, and will at least benefit from having a free choice of tyres on which to start the race.

"Obviously I’m still frustrated to have missed out on Q3 by a few tenths," he admitted.

“[It was] a tricky qualifying, but given how much we were struggling in FP3, there are some positives we can take away from today.

“The car was a long way off the pace this morning and I didn’t have much confidence, so I struggled a lot during that session.

"We made some good improvements going into qualifying and the result could’ve been a lot worse," he added. "We’ll push hard tomorrow to make up a few positions and get into the points.”

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Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3

Charles Leclerc qualified fifth for Sunday's Tuscan Grand Prix, a productive result that exceeded the Ferrari driver's expectations.... The post Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3 appeared first on F1i.com.

Leclerc happy after 'putting everything together' in Q3

Charles Leclerc qualified fifth for Sunday's Tuscan Grand Prix, a productive result that exceeded the Ferrari driver's expectations.

Ferrari's dismal results of late were anticipated to slightly improve at Mugello, a fast track but not the low downforce environment in which the Scuderia had suffered at Spa and Monza.

Leclerc's best effort in Q3 that yielded P5 on his final lap was helped by a late yellow flag in the session triggered by a spin by Esteban Ocon that denied a few of the Monegasque's rivals a shot at a better lap.

Overall, Leclerc said he was "very happy, very happy with the lap overall".

"I put everything together and P5 was definitely above any of our expectations. So very, very happy," added the Ferrari charger.

"Monza and Spa was extremely difficult for the whole team. I struggled massively to drive the car with those low downforce settings, [it was] very difficult with the balance.

"But here we managed to put the balance right, and it felt very good in the car. We are lacking overall performance to be able to fight with the guys in front, but the balance was very good today.

"It gave me confidence, and I could give my best on that qualy lap. But it was tricky, because the first lap in Q3, I was with old tyres.

"So then to go from old to new, it was tricky, but at the end we made it happen."

Leclerc vowed to give it his all on Sunday to try and secure a good result for his team's 1,000th Grand Prix but admitted to fearing those that will inevitably be snapping at his heels at the start tomorrow.

"There is a good opportunity," Leclerc said. "But on the other hand, if we look at the race pace of the other teams on Friday, there are quite a lot of cars that are stronger than us on Friday.

"It's going to be difficult to keep them behind, but that's my job in the car and I will give everything."

Sebastian Vettel's under-performance relative to his teammate continued in qualifying at Mugello where the German qualified 14th.

"It is a bit of a fight, but it's a fight the whole year," lamented Vettel.

"We try nevertheless to do everything we can, to understand the car a bit more.

"I try to do anything I can driving to adapt, but I think there's still more to do."

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