Max Verstappen feels Red Bull Racing are ideally placed to take the battle to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team on Sunday after he and Daniel Ricciardo locked out the second row for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Dutchman had looked on course for second on the grid before a last gap lap from Nico Rosberg saw him drop to third, and revealed that he could not manage to get the same levels of grip in Q3 that he did in Q2, a session in which he set a faster time.
“I am very pleased with the way qualifying went, we have put ourselves on the second row again which means we are in an ideal position to fight from the start,” said Verstappen.
“All weekend we have had a good car. We are still just a little down on top speed which makes it hard to compete with the Mercedes in qualifying, but we are still pretty close so that is a good achievement.
“My Q2 lap was really good and felt quick but I just couldn’t find the same grip levels in Q3 which meant I was slightly slower. I struggled in sector one which is usually my best sector, that shows how the grip can change in a matter of minutes.
“It’s still a hard lap out there, everyone is in the same position and has to adapt to the slippery conditions. It’s fun, but a different kind of fun. At some tracks you can have a perfect lap but here it is so hard”
Verstappen feels that starting on the Supersoft compound at the start will give his team an advantage over the Mercedes duo, who will both start on the Soft compound, and he is expecting a competitive afternoon on Sunday.
“It is a long run into Turn 1 and we start on the supersoft compound so our chances of making progress straight away is high,” said Verstappen. “Race pace looked strong which means we are looking forward to tomorrow.”