He may have been second best to them in qualifying, but Lando Norris is still hopeful of beating the Ferraris on race day in Austin.
It was a fairly disappointing Saturday at The Circuit of The Americas for Norris, with him qualifying in P8 behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and both Ferrari drivers.
The Italian team have looked stronger than McLaren throughout the weekend so far and are the favourites to finish top of the midfield in the race.
Norris remains optimistic about beating them though, especially as Sainz will be starting on softs while he and Ricciardo will be on mediums.
“The aim is to be ahead of the Ferraris,” he told Sky Sports after qualifying.
“That’s our aim. To be as high as possible. I think Red Bull and Mercedes are a bit too far ahead but we still have a good car, we can still score some good points and we have a chance to beat Ferrari.
“it’s going to be important at the start, the first lap, to try and get ahead… Carlos is on the softs as well so we have definitely some opportunities to try and get ahead of them tomorrow.”
The shootout is over in the Wild West. 🇺🇸 @DanielRicciardo qualifies in P7 with @LandoNorris in P8. Bring on the race! 👊 pic.twitter.com/a94nkzvLyA
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) October 23, 2021
Neither Norris nor Ricciardo was able to get close to the lead Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in qualifying, with the Monegasque over two-tenths faster than both.
The Brit feels he had the pace to challenge his rivals time though and would have done if not for errors on his final flying lap.
“Ferrari were fast today so it would’ve needed a pretty much perfect lap to be ahead of them. They were basically ahead through the majority of qualifying,” he said.
“So they have a good package, and we got close. I made a couple of mistakes on my last lap, like sector one and sector two I think was good but just the last two corners, I over-pushed a little bit and overcooked [the tyres].
“I kind of did the opposite of what I should have done. I pushed more instead of under-driving which would have suited it a little bit more.
“So I probably lost a couple of tenths which sucks because I could have been those two positions higher, maybe ahead of Ferrari, I’m not sure what times they actually did.
“But I think it was close enough that if I didn’t make the mistake I could’ve been ahead.”
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