Norris rues 'brain fade' as Sainz optimises McLaren pace in Singapore

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There were mixed emotions at McLaren despite Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz making Q3 in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.


The British team has been back where they have been for much of the 2019 season as the fourth quickest on the grid at Marina Bay, but have faced stiff competition from main rivals Renault.

With every tenth proving crucial then, Norris was livid with himself for a bad final segment which left him in 10th before Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification.

"It was a good feeling I had because Q1 went well and Q2 very well," he began.

"I was happy, confident, I didn't get the warm-up I wanted and I didn't have the confidence to push as much as in Q2. Then I had some brain fades, in the middle. It went wrong, very wrong and I lost time trying to make up for it because I'm an idiot.

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"Just silly mistakes. Halfway around the lap, I was even with my Q2 lap then I made a big mistake, the wrong gear in the hairpin, didn't down-shift enough and I have never done that before.

"As much as it was an awful lap, the lap in Q2 was nice. So the confidence is there I just didn't do it when I wanted to."

It was a different story for Sainz though as the Spaniard ended 'best of the rest' in seventh and was pleased to see McLaren performing on another tricky circuit.

“It’s been a very positive day for us, we showed good pace on a low-speed track, which we know has been one of our weaknesses," he said.

"The rear-end and the car in general has been behaving well the whole weekend and we managed to put together a very good lap in Q3, despite an engine misfire at the end of Sector 3“

Tantalisingly, Sainz was just over four-tenths slower than Alex Albon's Red Bull in sixth, but he admits finding that time was a step too far.

“P7 was the best position possible out there and it’s a good spot from which to fight tomorrow," he concluded.

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