McLaren went from victory threat to double Q1 elimination – but is the MCL60 actually all that bad around Las Vegas?
McLaren had a disappointing qualifying performance for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, with both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri being eliminated in Q1 due to the change in tire behavior after free practice. Although the McLaren car had the pace to make it into Q3, the decision to use only one set of tires in the first segment of qualifying resulted in poor results. Norris was 16th fastest, setting his best time on the fifth lap, while Piastri was 19th, setting his mark on the sixth lap. The extent of tire graining prevented them from improving their lap times. The team believes that using a second set of tires may have been the better decision in hindsight. The low-grip surface of the Las Vegas circuit led to graining issues for many teams, which was not the case in circuits like Jeddah where surface treatment increased grip. Pirelli expects the track condition to improve for next year’s race as the track ages.