Max Verstappen says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing “maximised qualifying” for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix where he’ll start from fourth, his sights set on a podium finish.
Verstappen, who has yet to qualify lower than fifth this season, admits that Mercedes AMG Motorsport “were just too quick” but the Dutchman’s lap time of 1:16.357 was enough to split the two Scuderia Ferrari cars to join Sebastian Vettel on the second row for Sunday’s race.
“I think we maximised qualifying today and I was very happy with how close we were to Seb and that I was able to split the Ferraris,” said Verstappen.
“The Mercedes cars, and especially Valtteri, were just too quick, but we recovered quite well and the car balance was a bit better than before.”
Barcelona was the scene of Verstappen’s first grand prix victory in 2016, for 2019 however, Verstappen believes he’s in a position to challenge for a podium.
“Of course, I would have liked to get a bit further to the front, and we still have to find some time but our pace in the long runs was good and in the race we’re normally a bit more competitive so I’m positive.
“Mercedes are quick but I think we can fight for a podium.”