McLaren Racing Executive Director Racing, Andrea Stella says that the Jeddah Corniche circuit in Saudi Arabia is really interesting and that both Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris enjoyed clocking up the laps on Friday for the opening day of practice.
Speaking following the action, Stella said:
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a really interesting track. According to Lando and Daniel, it’s a lot of fun to drive – but it also offers some real challenges for car set-up. We had a good day, with clean sessions and were able to explore our set-up options, while also learning about the tyres on this unusually high-grip surface for a street circuit.
“Looking at the timesheets, we can see that, as has been the case throughout the second half of the season, the midfield is very compact. Some of our rivals look very quick and we’ll have to be at our very best to understand what we’ve learnt in practice, put it all together and get ourselves into a strong position to qualify well and race for good points.
Daniel Ricciardo ended the opening practice session in eighth place with a time of 01:30.608s while in the evening session he was 11th with a time of 01:29.968s and speaking following the days action the Australian said:
I think the track’s good fun. It’s a challenging circuit but that does make it really exciting. It’s got good flow, good grip, so I’m happy with the layout. I think it’s quite different to what we’ve already been to, as well, so that’s always fun.
“I think we’ve still got a bit more to show from a pace point of view, and I’m confident we can do it. I look at our competitors and they look pretty quick today, but I do think we can match that. So, I’m optimistic ahead of tomorrow and, of course, because it’s a new track, I’m sure there’ll be a bit of improvement. There are still some corners where I can find a bit of time. So, we’ll keep at it
Lando Norris was 13th in the opening practice and 12th in second practice and speaking following the action he said;
“A fun but difficult first day! Fun because it’s a new circuit, a new challenge, and exciting to get out there and feel the circuit. Definitely one of the trickier ones to put everything together and get the accuracy needed to be close to the walls – but not too close, obviously. It was a difficult day because it’s been a bit of a challenge to find a good balance with the car, so far. So, we have some work to do tonight to try to be a bit better for tomorrow. The confidence is there – at least, I feel confident to push the car, but we just have to get it in a better window. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”