Lando Norris had no surprise after both McLaren drivers exited in Q1 and said it was an expected result.
McLaren had looked to have been continuing their upturn in form since Baku into Miami after the MCL60 showed some pace during the practice sessions on Friday.
But they found the going much tougher come Saturday with Norris finishing P19 in FP3, one spot behind team-mate Oscar Piastri.
It was to be a similar result in qualifying with both drivers exiting at the earliest stage possible. Norris, who will start Sunday’s race in P18, said the performance came as no real surprise to him.
“I think it was as expected to be honest,” he told F1.com. “It was a little bit hotter on the track so that makes the balance go away from us a little bit. It makes it a lot tougher inside the car.
“It makes our issues bigger and to a bigger extent so tougher to put laps together and execute what you need to execute in qualifying.
“But the underlying issue is we just don’t have the pace in the corners or down the straight. Just a struggle.”
Despite that, Norris did seem a bit more optimistic for the race itself, revealing they had kept “a couple of seconds in the pocket for tomorrow.”
“I’m expecting it to be quite easy,” the 23-year-old said. “We’ve been saving maybe a couple of seconds in the pocket for tomorrow. So we just want to have a fun race.”
His team-mate Piastri said similarly that the conditions on the track made it hard to maximise the potential of the MCL60.
“It’s very, very close but just tricky to get it all together there I think. Struggling in the hotter conditions so we need to find out why.
“The car’s not particularly tricky. It’s quite low grip but it’s just not particularly fast which is the issue.
“We’ll have a look at what we can do to make it better. We just struggled today as a team.”
Piastri will start one place behind his team-mate in P19 for Sunday’s race.