McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris sailed through to the top ten shootout and qualified in seventh place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Norris said that he was able to extract maximum performance out of his MCL36 at Yas Marina Circuit, and ultimately qualified as high up the grid as he could.
“A good quali. I think I got everything out of the car today, so I’m happy. I struggled a bit, not having enough confidence to push the car, but at the same time, we secured the best position we could.”
Norris’ solid starting position puts him one position ahead of both BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, McLaren’s nearest rivals in the constructors standings. Nineteen points behind Alpine, McLaren will need to pull together a large number of points to overtake them in the standings.
Overall, Norris aims to take his starting position and turn it into a points finish to finish off the 2022 season.
“We’ve got a good starting place, let’s convert it into some good points tomorrow.”
“I’m pleased with Q3 because it hasn’t been a sure thing this year” – Daniel Ricciardo
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo moved onto Q3 on Saturday, and is set to start from tenth place on the grid. Ricciardo was happy with the result, considering the troubles he’s had to make a top ten qualifying result stick throughout the season.
“I’m pleased with Q3 because it hasn’t been a sure thing this year. So, from that point of view, I’m happy to just be in it the whole session and be able to be in the hunt. It was a P10, but we were competitive enough to give us a little bit of hope.”
Ricciardo did, however, point out that a weak middle sector of his final lap hindered him from gaining a couple more positions.
“I think the middle sector, I just didn’t quite nail so there was maybe a tenth or so on the table there which maybe could have put me in the fight with Vettel and perhaps Ocon.”
Looking to the final race of the season, Ricciardo hopes to have a strong start in order to overtake his competitors ahead and ultimately close off his time with McLaren with a battle for good points.
“Nonetheless, looking forward to tomorrow. I will try to attack from the start, make up a few positions and put myself back in the fight with the top ten.”