McLaren: Lack of proper corners hurt us at Jeddah F1 track

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl says that the new Jeddah Formula 1 track does not play to the strengths of the MCL35M.

McLaren: Lack of proper corners hurt us at Jeddah F1 track

The circuit was expected to favour McLaren due to its fast nature, but Seidl says that the quick corners on the map are effectively straights and thus medium corner performance is more important to a lap time.

Lando Norris qualified seventh for the Saudi Arabian GP, losing out to regular rivals Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri, while Daniel Ricciardo missed out on Q3 in 11th after suffering floor damage in a kerb strike.

“In terms of the track itself, I think a lot of the corners that were supposed to be high speed are actually not corners, because they're full throttle corners,” said Seidl. “And that's why I think it's not a typical, say high-speed cornering track, there's a lot of medium speed corners.

“And therefore, I think, we're pretty much where we are on these kind of tracks, which is in the middle of this battle between several teams, Ferrari, AlphaTauri and us, we have seen several times this year.”

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Seidl admitted that the team should nevertheless have done better, with Ricciardo’s incident having been particularly costly.

"I'm obviously not fully satisfied with the outcome of qualifying today,” he said. “Because I think with the work the team has put in, together with both drivers, we made some good steps, also during the weekend in terms of performance. And I think we had quite a competitive car today in quali.

“But unfortunately, with damage to Daniel's floor, arising from a kerb hit, he couldn't show what he could do today, because I think he had good pace. And couldn't progress into Q3, which was a shame.

“It cost a lot, because in the end the floor was on the ground. Which means on his last sector, where he had I think, two green sectors, sector one, sector two, the plank was on the ground, and therefore he lost a lot on the straights. I don't know how many tenths, but that took away any chance to progress into Q3, which would have been easy without this damage."

Sparks kick up from Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Sparks kick up from Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Norris meanwhile was compromised by a yellow flag that forced the team to change its run plan.

“On Lando's side I think as well we couldn't show the full potential of the pace we had today, because of two reasons. After he got the yellow flag on his second lap, the medium run, first run in Q2, we decided to switch to the soft tyres in order to make sure we progressed to Q3.

“It wasn't also clear at that time what everyone will do, which then compromised Q3 because he didn't have two shots on new tyres. So therefore, even with a P7 a bit disappointed.”

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