Carlos Sainz is very disappointed with his qualifying performance which put him in ninth place after being very fast in the first and second stages of qualifying, citing the poor out lap in which he was interupted by Mercedes and Ferrari.

Sainz holds the seventh place in the drivers ‘standings before the last race of the season and has the same number of points as sixth-ranked Gasly in Toro Rosso while McLaren secured fourth place in the constructors’ championship in Brazil.

The Spaniard was tenth in Q1, sixth in Q2, ahead of Albon in Red Bull, and in Q3 he finished only ninth, behind sixth placed Albon, teammate Norris and Ricciardo in Renault.

Sainz’s Q3 lap (1:36.459) was 0.151 seconds slower than his Q2 lap (1:36.308), which would be enough for him to clinch seventh place as seventh Norris set 1:36.436.

“I’m very disappointed with that P9 when I’d been very strong in Q1 and Q2,” said Sainz.

“I was looking forward to putting another good lap together in Q3, but the out-lap was far from ideal. We got ourselves into trouble with the Mercedes and Ferrari and my last attempt was compromised.”

“It’s a shame, because matching my Q2 lap would have put us P7 easily. I expect a tough race tomorrow and we need to switch our focus quickly.”

Carlos Sainz McLaren MCL34 Abu Dhabi GP F1 2019 dark sun Photo McLaren

“A good quali for me, Carlos and the team,” said Norris who beat Sainz in qualifying 11:10 this season after his Abu Dhabi qualifying victory.

“We achieved P7 but a P6 grid start taking into account the Bottas penalty, so I’m happy. It’s been a pretty good couple of days. I’ve generally been fairly comfortable with the car, which has been positive.”

“We knew quali was going to be tough and our aim was to get into Q3 and we did that. We’re ahead of the midfield guys we wanted to beat, so that’s a bonus. It couldn’t have been any better in terms of positions – it’s a good way to end the season.”

“After a challenging Friday, the team here at the track, together with the support we got from the factory, made the right calls on improving the performance of our cars overnight,” said Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

“The team executed well again today in quali, both drivers pulled it off when it counted and it’s great for us to finish the last quali of the season with both cars in the top 10.”

“Starting tomorrow in P6 and P8 gives us a good chance to climb further up the standings in the Drivers’ Championship which will be our focus. We’re looking forward to an exciting last race of the season and sending the MCL34 into retirement in race mode with a good result.”

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