Max Verstappen was disappointed to miss out on pole position at Silverstone on Friday evening, but the Dutchman remains confident he can extend his winning run on Sunday.
The Red Bull Racing driver had taken pole position in each of the last three Grand Prix but was usurped at Silverstone by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Lewis Hamilton by 0.075 seconds.
Verstappen said his RB16B had understeer that meant he was unable to attack the corners around the track as much as he would have liked and left him falling short in Qualifying.
However, with the first-ever Sprint Qualifying race coming up on Saturday and the full-length British Grand Prix on Sunday, the Dutchman is confident he can take a fourth consecutive race victory and further extend his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.
“Of course I am disappointed because I wanted to start first tomorrow but we have the sprint qualifying race to decide the main grid and then Sunday as well so we will try and get them back,” said Verstappen.
“Overall, the car was handling quite well but we just had a lot of understeer and I couldn’t really attack the corners as I was waiting for the front to grip up. It was a bit of a weird feeling to drive and I don’t think it was set-up or front wing related, so maybe front tyres, but we will look at it and it’s nothing dramatic.
“To be this close is still very good for us on a track we expected Mercedes to be very strong and we know we have a good race car so I’m still confident for the rest of the weekend.”
“We have the sprint race to make it further up the grid” – Sergio Pérez
Team-mate Sergio Pérez was disappointed to miss out on a place on the second row, with the Mexican ending up fifth, just 0.016 seconds behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Pérez lost a better lap time due to exceeding track limits, but it only cost the two-time race winner one place on the grid, but overall, he was not happy with the balance of the car when it mattered.
However, Pérez feels he has two opportunities to make gains, starting with Saturday afternoon’s Sprint Qualifying race.
“I ran wide into Turn 15 and my best lap time was deleted which is a bit of a shame but those are the rules and luckily I only lost one place,” said Pérez. “P4 would have been a bit better but we have the sprint race to make it further up the grid for Sunday so still there is plenty to play for.
“We improved the car a lot as the day went on but I found a bit of a difference in the balance at the end of Q3 and couldn’t get the most out of the car.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow as it will be interesting to see what happens with the new sprint format and how much progress we are able to make in that race.”