McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was left confused by his lack of pace at the Nurburgring on Saturday, as he was the slowest driver in Q3 despite running with upgrades during the session.
The Woking-based squad has been experimenting with a new nose design over the last handful of weekends, which is part of a wider development path that it is keen to pursue.
However, Sainz was outqualified by team-mate Lando Norris ahead of the Eifel Grand Prix, despite the latter running the non-upgraded package this weekend.
“I’m disappointed, because honestly with a new package and me running all the new bits on the car, we all expected a bit of a step forward in the right direction,” Sainz said.
“I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t have the full Friday to optimise it, but I’ve been a bit on the back foot since FP3.
“We decided to split the cars, Lando has been on the old package all day long and looks to be a bit happier than me.
“Many, many question marks at the moment, I think I did a good job developing through quali and getting the car a better window as we were very far off in Q1.
“But at the moment, we are very far from where we want to be.”
Sainz is expecting a challenging race to greet him on Sunday, which he says will primarily be about gathering data for the engineers.
“[The car’s in] parc ferme, so we can’t change anything for tomorrow,” he said. “So it will be more a day of trying to get data gathering for the engineers and for everyone back home.
“But so far, not very happy. It hasn’t been a very good day for me.
“It wasn’t a good weekend for Lando in Russia with the new package either. So I don’t know, we need to double check everything.”