Max Verstappen qualified in fifth but will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix in fourth, thanks to a five-place penalty for Valtteri Bottas.
The Dutch driver, famed for his wet-weather driving skills following last season’s race at Brazil, was only able to bring his Red Bull Racing car to fifth, over 1.5 seconds away from pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. With Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo having retired early in the first Qualifying session, Verstappen didn’t feel there was much more he could have done.
“It was a lonely qualifying for me and we ended up pretty much exactly where I expected,” said Verstappen. “We were lacking the speed and therefore unable to get close to the Mercedes and Ferraris but the car still felt good so I had fun out there.
Despite having set the fifth-fastest time, Verstappen will move up to fourth thanks to Bottas’ penalty, and whilst he’s happy that he’s starting further up the grid, making up places thanks to the misfortune of others (and not outright pace) isn’t something Verstappen enjoys.
“Fifth was the best we could have done today and I achieved that. I’ll start tomorrow in fourth which of course is better but I never like to rely on penalties for other people to help, I wish I was there just on pace.”
Verstappen believes his best chance of a good result is more rain, but knows that finishing might be the biggest hurdle to overcome.
“We shall wait and see what the weather brings tomorrow, hopefully some rain as I think I have a better chance of challenging for a podium in the wet,” said Verstappen.
“I want to be realistic and not dream so I’m hoping my luck has changed and I can have a good, fun race tomorrow and bring the car home. I am not talking about podiums or winning for now.”