Carlos Sainz said that McLaren were thinking “like a big team” for the first time in 2019 with their qualifying strategy in Mexico.
The Woking outfit tried to follow the lead of the top six and make it out of Q2 on the medium tyres, meaning they would start the race on that compound and open up better strategical options for the race.
Sadly they didn’t quite have the pace to pull it off, but Sainz will start P7 ahead of team-mate Lando Norris, and the Spaniard was delighted with his team for giving it a go.
“Big smile. Today for the first time in the whole season we started to think more like a big team,” he told reporters in Mexico City.
“We tried to go through Q2 on the medium tyre, we were very close despite a lock up in the final sector and traffic, we nearly made it through on the medium which would have given us a huge advantage for tomorrow.
“It’s a consequence of making the right things and the right decisions over the whole weekend, I’ve been feeling at home with the car and we’ve been dominating the midfield again.”
Qualifying comes to a close in Mexico. Carlos finishes P7 with Lando in P8.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 26, 2019
So the only downside for Sainz was that he must start the race on the soft tyres, but even that wasn’t ruining his mood.
“That horrible soft. But you know I’m not even disappointed because we tried it, and we haven’t tried that in ages,” he beamed.
“It feels good to at least start thinking with higher expectations in qualifying, I’m very proud of the team.”
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