Q3 was set to be one of the most exciting sessions of the season, we’re sure of it! It was looking close at the top, with Lando Norris looking particularly strong heading into the final shootout for the top grid spot, but unfortunately, the incoming storm had other ideas.
Lando topped the timesheets at the end of Q2, but with the skies getting darker and darker and raindrops beginning to fall at the start of Q3, it was clear you had to get your first lap in quickly.
With the temperature dropping, the conditions became trickier to navigate as time passed. The McLarens were among the last cars on track, and neither went particularly fast (with Oscar Piastir even going off).
Lando qualified in P7 but will start Sunday’s grand prix in P6 after George Russell was given a two-place grid penalty for impeding at the pit exit. He was visibly frustrated, telling F1: “The car was amazing. It was quick enough to be quickest today and on pole, so pretty gutted [to end up] the way we did.
“Easily quick enough, so disappointed. Another disappointing Saturday, not a lot we could have done.”
Fans are frustrated, too, with many feeling that the team takes too many risks at times like these.
How has qualifying gone so badly for us AGAIN? You can see it was raining, why would you go out so late?
Back-to-back years where Lando looks like a real challenger for pole at Brazil & the idiots in charge send him out way too late.
— Robbo (@utdrobbo) November 3, 2023
You’ll never be a contending team when you keep screwing up your strategies.. It’s incredibly amateurish.
My 12 year old could have told you to get back on track asap.
— Loose Thinking (@loose_thinking_) November 3, 2023
Now that we have pace, strategy is costing us badly. It’s all good this season but if we are really challenging Red Bull these errors can’t keep happening.
— Rohan_CFC (@CFCRohan) November 3, 2023
You made the same mistake as last year and cost us pole. How hard is it to send the cars out at the front of the pack when it’s BLATANTLY obvious that it’s gonna hammer it down?!?
— Alex – ajlGooner (@ajlGooner) November 3, 2023
reasons why i should replace the current mclaren head of strategy:
i have eyes.
I hope you will take my application seriously, as i seem to be an upgrade on the current person in this position.
— free palestine🇵🇸 (@casey_eff01) November 3, 2023
Absolutely bottled pole again. Always bottling. Open up a bottle factory.
— Shann Keith (@shannk964447) November 3, 2023
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that McLaren has left it too late to send their drivers out on track – it was a similar story already last year in Brazil.
Is McLaren struggling with its qualifying strategies? Let us know in the comments!