Max Verstappen: “I’m pretty disappointed with sixth”

Max Verstappen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen felt the mistake at turn eleven on his final lap during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix cost him a top three starting spot, with the Dutchman ending up sixth on the grid as a result.

The Red Bull Racing driver had felt confident throughout the qualifying session until the mistake at the end, and believed he should have been around where team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is on the grid.

“I’m pretty disappointed with sixth today,” said Verstappen. “Qualifying up until Q3 went very well, we had no issues and didn’t touch the car. In my last run I was pushing hard and a few tenths up but I locked up into turn 11, if not for that I feel I would have been around P3.

“It was a bit unfortunate as my pace was there and the car felt good.” 

Verstappen will start the race on the Supersoft tyre after making it through to Q3 with relative ease on the supposed slower tyre to the Ultrasoft, and feels he should be able to extend his opening stint longer than those who will be on the Ultrasoft.

“It would have been great to be a bit higher on the grid as the tyre strategy means that by starting on the Supersoft we need a really strong start and to be careful with the cars behind,” said Verstappen.

“We should be able to stay out a bit longer, the tyre seems to work well in the higher temperatures so this suits the start of the race. The pace has been there all weekend so I am definitely aiming to go forward tomorrow and work my way to the guys up front.

“I will put today behind me and focus on having a strong race and closing the season with another successful result.”