The Formula two graduate has confessed it doesn’t mean McLaren can expect top-10 starts at every race, but also considers a dip in qualifying execution will not be a cause for alarms .
“Clearly it’s what we would like to do and it’s our aim.
“But if we move into the next one and we eventually, for whatever reason, maybe not maintain Q2, I actually don’t think it [progressing to Q3] is something everyone needs to not expect [in future races].
“Hopefully this sort of shows we’re in an improved position that we believed”
But until there Sainz had also been supported with McLaren’s pace.
“The team ended a year definately not the midfield, such as four or three tenths I’d state,” he explained.
“It seems like we put ourselves back in the mix after winter, which shows the unbelievable job that the factory and the team has done over winter testing.
“After Barcelona we’re not too sure that Q3 was not possible.
“it does not mean we’re going to take Q 3 in Bahrain and China, but it means we have ourselves back into the mix and it is now a matter of nailing laps, monitoring procedures, nailing the set-up for every track as the midfield can be rather tight as always.”
But part of this rationale McLaren’s Melbourne operation was above-expectation this past year is that Norris did not think the track would suit the MCL34.
Much like Sainz, ” he thinks track faculties will play a large part within the midfield battle.
“It’s going to vary path to track, I can’t say no but that I can’t state yes,” he explained afterwards Melbourne qualifying, once asked if Q 3 was representative of McLaren’s pace.
“The midfield’s very tight, and Q1, involving the inventors that are outside and the inventors that are in, was about two tenths.
“One small mistake could really make a difference, but I was able to do some lap which put me in front side of that group.
“I can’t say yes or no, however, it’s more than we thought and I hope that’s a similar case at other tracks.”