A top-five finish for Lando Norris was cruelly ripped out of his grasp by a late puncture, and Daniel Ricciardo’s fightback got thwarted as he reluctantly looked to save an unusually high amount of fuel.
All the more frustrating for McLaren was that, at the Losail International Circuit, McLaren had a faster car than Ferrari, their main rival in the Constructors’ Championship this season.
“A disappointing race. We could’ve scored some good points today. The car was very strong, I felt confident and we had good pace compared to everyone behind. Only Fernando [Alonso] had slightly better pace. I’m not sure we could’ve challenged for the podium, but we had good pace to go for P4, or at least P5, which would’ve been a great result for us. We lost that position through no fault of our own. It’s a huge shame, as the team worked really hard all weekend, but there was nothing we could do.”
“Unfortunately, a pretty disappointing end to the triple-header today. We ran into some issues with fuel, and we had to save which dictated our race. So, not sure what happened but we obviously need to look into it. I’m looking forward to moving on. I think a weekend off is necessary for everyone involved. We’ll debrief now, try to understand the issues today and then we’ve got some sim time next week to get ready for the last two. Let’s finish strong.”
Team Principal: Andreas Seidl
“This triple-header didn’t go our way. Lando drove a strong race today and looked set for P4 on merit, thanks to a competitive car, good strategy and an excellent pit-stop. A puncture took him out of contention, and he finished P9. When that happened, his Hard tyre had done fewer laps than the Soft tyre did in his first stint, so this was very unexpected. For Daniel, it was always going to be tough to get into the points from P14. He drove a very strong first stint that pulled him up into contention, but then had to save an unusually high amount of fuel. We’ll have to investigate why that was required on his side.
“My thanks to the entire team, who have worked incredibly hard, both here at the track and back at the factory, and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, who have given us excellent support. Everyone has pushed very hard through this intense run of races. We’ll go home now, reset, take a weekend off and try to finish the season on a high.”
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