Back to another power track, one wouldn’t expect Red Bull to necessarily be the second fastest car on the circuit, but it had looked like that through qualifying.
Verstappen though was disappointed with his qualifying effort, letting Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the front row, with it looking like the Dutchman was going to claim that place all through the qualifying hour. He was quicker than teammate Ricciardo though consistently to keep his place on the second row, to stay ahead of biggest critic Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen said after qualifying: “I was just a little disappointed with my last lap, I was expecting someone to jump ahead of me so Kimi being in front wasn’t a big surprise.
“It was an odd session, Q1 and Q2 felt good but then I wasn’t very happy with the grip of the new set of tyres I got. We need to look into this as the rear felt slick in sector 2, we will analyse and hopefully figure out why.
“We have ended up very close to third position which realistically is the best we can do in dry conditions so todays result is still pretty good. We have split the Ferraris which means we will have a fun race on our hands tomorrow, especially if the weather changes.
“It was a bit of a shame the rain stayed away for qualifying. We had a few drops but not enough to make conditions swing in our favour, it is supposed to rain more tomorrow so let’s look forward to that. With some wet track condition our level of grip compared to other cars should come up a bit. Long run pace looks good so after a strong start we can put on a good race.
“I will go out there tomorrow to perform the best I can and deliver the highest finish position possible for the team.”
Talking about the recent comments about Toto Wolff calling his father Jos, and Niki appearing in the hospitality area, “I haven’t paid much attention to the stories of Mercedes talking with Red Bull, Niki was in our hospitality but he just likes our food and drinks, they are very good. He is Austrian so perhaps just wanted an Austrian drink.”