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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

McLaren drivers reckon that they had tempo for second row amid tight Bahrain F1 grid

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Norris and Piastri confirmed robust one-lap tempo amid a particularly tight qualifying battle behind Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen.

However each drivers struggled to get their greatest laps together in Q3, which shuffled them right down to seventh and eighth respectively. With such slim margins because the 2024 season will get beneath manner, any such qualifying errors are proving additional expensive.

“It was difficult,” Norris replied when requested by Autosport about his compromised Q3 lap, which was nonetheless solely 0.435s behind polesitter Verstappen and simply two tenths off second-placed Charles Leclerc.

“Possibly the wind modified that little bit. In Q3 whenever you’re pushing that little bit extra and issues change the tiniest bit it might make an enormous distinction, which it did for me.

“A whole lot of potential and the automobile was feeling nice all by way of qualifying, so I used to be very blissful. I used to be placing in some good laps, my worst one was my closing one which is generally not the way you need it to go. However the potential was there.

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“If I simply put my cheap lap in and simply did not make a mistake, however it wasn’t an insane Iap, I nonetheless imagine that we most likely ought to have been second or third. For us to have that’s fairly Positive.”

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38 and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38 within the pit lane

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Piastri stated he additionally had a tougher day than anticipated, however identified McLaren cannot be too dejected given the huge enhancements it has made since final yr’s Bahrain opener.

“For me a little bit of a trickier day with the automobile,” the Australian commented. “I felt my final lap in Q3 got here collectively a bit extra, however it’s nonetheless not essentially the most snug day within the automobile.

“However I feel the truth that I’ve had a kind of qualifying classes and two tenths would put me third, that is a reasonably respectable place to start out the yr off, I’d say. We’re definitely happier than we had been 12 months in the past.”

On race tempo McLaren additionally expects to be aggressive with the pack round it, which incorporates Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin, though a number of the MCL38’s weaknesses seem extra pronounced on excessive gasoline hundreds.

However the prospect of drivers being caught in DRS trains, given the minimal tempo variations between groups, will make technique and tyre administration maybe extra essential than outright velocity.

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“Qualifying has confirmed that the tempo distinction between quite a lot of automobiles could be very small and I do not count on that to vary massively within the race,” Piastri opined.

“Making progress just isn’t going to be simple. I feel that is going to be true all the best way as much as the entrance, aside from Crimson Bull; I feel they’re going to be stronger within the race than they usually are.

“We will make progress, it is a monitor you may overtake on and technique could be very huge ingredient. We’re undoubtedly within the combine.”



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