A misfire with his Renault power unit prevented Max Verstappen from setting a lap time fast enough to advance through to the second phase of qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday, with the Dutchman set to start nineteenth on the grid as a result.
The Red Bull Racing driver is out of position on the grid, especially with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo fifth, but he admitted there was little he could do during the qualifying session.
“Starting from nineteenth on the grid is going to be tough but I think there is rain on the way,” said Verstappen. “There was something misfiring in the engine which meant we were down on power, I tried to do a lap that could at least get me through to Q2 but the issue just wouldn’t let me.
“The guys will investigate this evening and I’m confident they can resolve it for the race. It is of course very unfortunate but these things happen and we need to move on.”
Verstappen is hoping that the forecasted rain comes on Sunday in order to have a strong race, and he admits that it will be tougher to come through the field should it be dry.
“A bit of rain tomorrow will definitely help us but I think even in the wet it will be tough to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes,” said Verstappen. “We need to concentrate on what we have and do the best we can.
“I will go home tonight, get some good rest and sleep, then come to the track ready to attack on what will hopefully be a wet track. If it is dry tomorrow you lose too much time starting from where I am on the grid. We will see, some good overtakes and exciting racing is what I’m hoping for.”