Max Verstappen: “I was smiling when it started to rain”


Max Verstappen was one of the stars of qualifying in Malaysia, with the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver qualifying inside the top six, while team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr was caught out by the weather during the second session of qualifying, and will start fifteenth.

Verstappen took an amazing sixth place on the grid in only his second Grand Prix, and was happy with his performance in the rain. He is hoping track position on Sunday will help him with the seventeen-year-old admitting he has been struggling in the longer runs.

“I’m very happy, it was a good session this afternoon, especially Q3,” reflected Verstappen. “In Q1 and Q2 I wasn’t totally comfortable with the car, but we had a good end of Q2.

“I was smiling when it started to rain, because that’s what I like. I’m Dutch so I’m used to driving in the wet, even though here it’s a completely different story. P6 is a really a good position to start tomorrow’s race.  

“I’m really looking forward to it and even if we seem to struggle a bit in the longer runs, I’m not worried and hopefully we can score some points.”

Team-mate Sainz was less fortunate with the weather conditions, with the Spaniard being the slowest of the drivers who set a lap time in Q2 after making a small mistake.  He believed that without the rain, he was in with a chance of making it into the final part of qualifying, and is looking forward to making up places on Sunday with the aim of scoring points again.

“I’m disappointed with today’s result, as getting into Q3 was more than possible and we could’ve ended up with a great result,” said Sainz. “We were looking very good, very sharp, but unfortunately I made a rookie mistake at Turn 14 and I locked-up when it was starting to rain, losing all chances to get through to Q3.

“If this rain hadn’t arrived, we would’ve surely been up there. But these things can happen, we need to stay positive and learn from mistakes.

“I look forward to making up some positions in the race tomorrow as we know that we can fight for a good result.”