Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen revealed a lack of grip and not being able to find a comfortable set-up led to his comparatively weak qualifying performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen struggled through all sessions up to and including qualifying, not feeling at home in his Red Bull car and seeing him only able to reach sixth in qualifying – being beaten by teammate Daniel Ricciardo for only the seventh time this season.
The Dutchman said a lack of grip hindered his pace, and that not being able to find the correct balance for the car means it’s more difficult to control.
“It wasn’t a great Qualifying session for me today, we have struggled to find a good set-up all weekend and today was no exception. The changes we have tried did not impact the car how I would have liked and then by the time you get to Qualifying it is too late to change anything else. Like I said yesterday, I haven’t been able to find a good level of grip here which means I am always fighting with the car and it makes it difficult to drive.”
Looking forward to the race, Verstappen is hopeful that Ricciardo will be able to help ensure he doesn’t spend the race on his own – though ultimately accepts that the damage is done already.
“The conditions for the race should be similar to tonight so I think it will be a hard race from our side but let’s wait and see what we can do. Daniel is in front of Kimi so hopefully that could mean a bit of a fight for us tomorrow and we can avoid a lonely race. I did the best I could with the car, sometimes you have to accept that you are not fast enough, learn from it, come back and try harder next time. I’ll do my best so let’s see what we can achieve from P6.”