Fans fume after McLaren 'messed up' Las Vegas GP qualifying session

McLaren ‘completely messed up’ their Las Vegas GP qualifying session as fans slam the garage for ‘making mistakes’ after Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are eliminated in disastrous Q1

  • McLaren endured a nightmare qualifying session at the Las Vegas Grand Prix
  • Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were eliminated in the first qualifying sector
  • Both drivers were hampered by unusual tyre degradation on the street circuit 

McLaren endured a nightmare qualifying session at the Las Vegas Grand Prix that ended with both drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri eliminated in the first session.

The new street circuit was always expected to prove difficult for McLaren to deal with given their car’s performance is more suited to the expansive purpose-built race tracks, rather than street races. But, the disastrous qualifying session went worse than expected.

Norris and Piastri were amongst the first five drivers to be eliminated from qualifying and the only full team to miss out during the first session.

It follows on from an impressive Brazilian GP last time out where Norris started second on the grid and both drivers will be at the back of the starting order for Sunday’s main event in Las Vegas.

Piastri finished qualifying in 19th place with only Alpha Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda finishing below him, while Norris qualified in 16th after being beaten by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll for a place in Q2.

Lando Norris was eliminated during the first qualifying session at the Las Vegas Grand Prix

McLaren struggled with unusual tyre degradation during the qualifying session in Las Vegas

Both drivers fumed at their qualifying pace that was largely hampered by unusual tyre degradation on the street track and social media has offered very little sympathy.

One critic blamed McLaren for not changing tyres once it was clear their initial strategy wasn’t working and posted on X: ‘What was McLaren doing not pitting for new tyres. They completely messed this up.’

Another explained that the team had been making mistakes in recent qualifying sessions, adding: ‘Yes, Vegas is not a track that suits the car, but Lando could have easily made it out of Q1 if he had a better run plan. McLaren have been making a lot of mistakes recently with how they manage qualifying and they seriously need to work on that.’

A third online user mocked McLaren after Norris finished in P2 at the previous GP before his poor showing in Vegas, tweeting: ‘McLaren really went from P2 to P16 in 14 days’ alongside a series of laughing face emojis.

However, one supporter of the orange and black garage offered a different verdict, stating: ‘McLaren pain….it’s been a while old friend, I didn’t miss you.’

Oscar Piastri will start from 19th on the grid at Sunday’s main event on the Vegas street circuit

It wasn’t just McLaren who struggled in the intense qualifying session ahead of Formula One’s first GP in Las Vegas since 1982 as Mercedes and Red Bull also encountered similar problems.

Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were eliminated in Q2 as the street circuit presented nuanced problems for teams to get to grips with.

Norris later described his own qualifying session as ‘painful’ but admitted it wasn’t a surprise, telling Sky Sports: ‘I would say it’s not a surprise just because it’s very close and just when things aren’t quite going and your not quite comfortable, one or two tenths off where you want to be and it makes a big difference.

‘If a couple of things came together it could have been like oh yeah not a bad day but we’ve just been struggling with the car on the circuit. It’s painful that we didn’t get through to Q2.’

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