Max Verstappen was happy to have qualified third as his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team judged the tricky conditions well at the Suzuka International Racing Course.
The Dutchman switched from the intermediate tyres back to dries just before the start of Q3 and that allowed him to get ahead of Scuderia Ferrari and secure third place on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix.
“Today as a team we made no mistakes, on or off the track.
“We managed to optimise the set-up and conditions in Q3 which resulted in a really good grid position to start from tomorrow.
“It was crucial that we swapped the intermediates to slicks at the beginning of Q3, this allowed us to get out ahead of Ferrari and set a strong lap time.”
Verstappen struggled yesterday in practice but he praised the work done by the mechanics to get the car right for qualifying.
“I was a lot more satisfied with my feeling and performance in the car compared to yesterday.
“The hard work the guys put in overnight showed and meant I could have a good qualifying session.”
Verstappen feels the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport may be out of reach but is expecting a battle with the Ferrari’s during the race
“I think the Mercedes will be too quick for us to challenge come the race, but with a good start who knows.
“Sebastian will be looking to come through the pack quickly so I may have some defending to do at some point, I will of course do my best to hang onto my position.
“We need to concentrate on doing the best possible strategy from our side and then hopefully finish on the podium.”