Max Verstappen believes the European Grand Prix will be interesting as the World Champion, Lewis Hamilton will be starting behind him in tenth.
The Red Bull Racing driver had a tough qualifying on Saturday when the Williams Martini Racing of Valtteri Bottas tried to overtake Verstappen at Turn 1. Bottas was unable to make the move and had to back off, compromising the Dutchman’s lap.
Even with this fight, Verstappen was able to set a fastest lap time of 1:45.570 to finish the session ninth, pushing Hamilton down to tenth. The Brit will be starting at the Baku City Circuit in tenth for Mercedes AMG PETRONAS after ending his qualifying in the wall at Turn 11.
Verstappen is happy with the performance the Milton Keynes based outfit showed on Saturday and believes they have a good shot in the Grand Prix on Sunday.
“I think today we could have been P3,” said Verstappen. “When the red flag came out I was already five-tenths up on my lap from Q2 so a 1:43.9 was in sight, easily.
“It’s just unfortunate I got ruined by Bottas in Q2, and then after the red flag in Q3 with two minutes to go, he did exactly the same thing, so again, very unfortunate, but the pace is there. I don’t need to have a chat (with Bottas), I’ll just focus on tomorrow.
“We know from GP2 there will be a lot of action and overtaking, so it will be a very interesting race for sure. It will be interesting to have Lewis behind me, he’ll be very quick. I’m very happy with the performance we showed today.
“It was all coming together and we have a good shot tomorrow. You have to find a compromise with setup, our rear wing is small so we lose a bit of down force where we are usually very strong but still we are up there, so I think the car is performing well.”