Formula 1

Max Verstappen: “We didn’t get the opportunity to fight for pole”

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen will start the Spanish Grand Prix from second on the grid, but the Dutchman was disappointed not to attack on his final lap as an issue with his DRS left him down on pace.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver had been fastest after the first runs in Q3 but found himself shuffled down to second after a stunning final lap by Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“We are starting second tomorrow which we can be happy about but it was a bit of a shame with the last run,” said Verstappen. “The DRS didn’t open so I backed out and aborted the lap as I was losing a lot of time, three or four tenths.

“That meant we didn’t get the opportunity to fight for pole, nevertheless, we will give it a good go tomorrow.”

Verstappen says Ferrari look ‘pretty strong’ again this weekend, but he is confident he can overhaul Leclerc to secure a third consecutive victory on Sunday afternoon at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“Ferrari are looking pretty strong so it will be hard to beat them, they did a long run this morning and it looked strong,” he said.  “Tyre management is going to be really important tomorrow with the heat and you also need overall race pace.

“Hopefully we’ll have more pace tomorrow and there’s a long run into turn one so a lot can happen.”

“I couldn’t quite make it work to put that lap together” – Sergio Pérez

Team-mate Sergio Pérez was not so happy with his Qualifying performance, with the Mexican being resigned to a position on the third row after being outperformed by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s George Russell and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

Pérez did not feel he got the best out of his RB18 when it mattered, and he admitted he has been struggling to find a set-up that he’s been comfortable with all weekend.

“Today was tough, there was more to give, especially on my final run in Q3, we tried something different with the set-up and it felt a bit awkward, so I didn’t get a great lap,” said Pérez.  

“I have felt like I have been struggling throughout the weekend, I haven’t been comfortable, we tried some things on the car and the pace was there but I couldn’t quite make it work to put that lap together today.”

Pérez still believes he has a shot at a strong result on Sunday afternoon, and like Verstappen, he hopes Red Bull have the pace to get ahead of the Ferrari drivers.

“It’s not an ideal result but I think we will have good race pace and we will push from the start,” he said.  “I still think we can fight from fifth, tomorrow is a long race and anything can happen.

“I think it is going to be very hot, especially for the tyres, degradation will be high so it will be an interesting one. Ferrari were very strong today so we will see what we are able to do against them come race day, hopefully we are able to get them back.

“Tomorrow is a different situation and our long runs have looked good in practice so we can be confident.”

Sergio Pérez will start fifth in the Spanish Grand Prix – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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