A small mistake cost Max Verstappen a front row start in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix according to the man himself.
Verstappen qualified fourth for the first race of the 2018 season but says that a small mistake at turn thirteen cost him the chance to beat both Scuderia Ferraris and the chance to start alongside pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.
“Even with a small mistake I really enjoyed Qualifying today,” Verstappen said. “It’s difficult to say what I expected heading into the session but it should have been a little bit better.
“I made a mistake on my last fast lap and went wide at turn 13 which lost me a few tenths compared to my previous run.
“We were still very close to Ferrari which is positive but maybe we could have been second.
“Mercedes were quite far ahead as expected, had I not made my mistake I think I would have only been about half a second off Lewis which is closer than in the past.
Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race on Pirelli’s SuperSoft tyres, a contrasting strategy to those around him on the grid. With a different strategy and the encouraging pace of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14, the Dutchman sees himself challenging for the podium in the race.
“All things considered and with the right strategy I think we can be competitive during the race tomorrow, with Mercedes I’m not sure but I think we can have a good fight with Ferrari.
“We are hoping to go a bit longer with our tyre selection so if we stay out of trouble at the start we can settle in and have a strong race.
“I am happy with the pace and feel for the first race weekend, so I’m hopeful we can improve and move forward from here, not just tomorrow but for the rest of the season.”