Max Verstappen endured a tough Q3 during Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday as the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver could only set the tenth fastest time following a suspected issue with his power unit.
Verstappen had shown extremely strong pace throughout Qualifying up until then and believed he had what it took to take pole position, but on leaving the pits for his final attack lap on fresh tyres, he found he did not have the power needed even to contend.
As other drivers attacked and improved their own times, the defending World Champion slipped to the bottom of the top ten and will have a lot of work to do on Sunday if he is to fight for a podium finish at the Hungaroring.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, I drove out of the pits and there was no release and no power in the car, we couldn’t fix it,” said Verstappen. “We tried everything we could whilst out on the track, I‘ll have a chat with the Team and I hope that everything is fixable.
“It’s frustrating to start in P10 tomorrow after such a positive qualifying, we looked competitive and we had good pace.
“Although we have a slight point advantage, you always want to start at the front, it’s difficult to overtake here and get through the traffic so we’ll have to be patient. Tomorrow is definitely going to be an interesting one.”
“Qualification did not go as expected” – Sergio Pérez
Team-mate Sergio Pérez found himself eliminated from Qualifying in Q2, with his second flying lap being hampered by Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen at turn two leaving him on the back foot until the end of the lap.
Pérez had seen his initial lap time in Q2 deleted for exceeding track limits, and then reinstated, but his second lap was slower than his reinstated time, partly due to being hampered by Magnussen, meaning he was on the wrong side of the cut off point when the chequered flag flew.
Despite this, the Mexican feels Red Bull have a good race car for Sunday, and he hopes to make progress through the field and score good points for the team.
“Qualification did not go as expected,” said Pérez. “I had to use a second set of tyres in Q2 because my first lap got deleted for track limits, then I got my time back but this already impacted our session.
“It was a bit of a strange situation. When I got going again Kevin (Magnussen) got in my way at turn 2, so I lost a few tenths as I had to go very big through the corner and couldn’t recover for the rest of the lap. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much more.
“It wasn’t a great qualifying for me. I don’t have a great feeling in the car at the moment but tomorrow should be better, we should have better pace and hopefully we are able to recover to score some solid points.”