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There's no secret to our qualifying success, say McLaren

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Le Castellet (France) (AFP)

British rookie Lando Norris denied McLaren had a secret upgrade after claiming fifth on the grid Saturday for the French Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old driver impressed with his driving and his post-qualifying cool as he deflected jibes from Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified eighth.

The Australian heaped praise on rivals McLaren and said: "We got beat by the two McLarens and they have a little update they told no-one about, I think!

"It's impressive their pace and we couldn't match it.?

Norris outpaced his more experienced team-mate Carlos Sainz to claim his best grid position.

"As a team, we have done very well. I am sure the others are going to be hard to beat, but we are ahead of our direct rivals, who we need to be.

"I heard the rumours from Renault saying we have a secret upgrade ?- well, we weren't expecting anything at all, to be honest, and it has turned out better than we expected."

McLaren's improvement signals a surge in form this year after several seasons in the doldrums.

Once one of the most successful teams in the sport, they have not qualified better than fifth since 2016.

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