Max Verstappen was left frustrated after red flags late in Q3 at Baku cost him a chance of pole position for the second race weekend in a row.
Last time out in Monaco, Charles Leclerc held provisional pole but a crash on his final flying lap caused the session to end under red flags, leaving Verstappen as one of several drivers who felt pole was there for the taking.
And it was a case of deja vu in Azerbaijan as Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda crashed late in Q3, while Leclerc was again on provisional pole. Just like in Monaco, the red flags came out, the session ended and Leclerc had made it back-to-back poles for Ferrari.
Understandably though, these incidents are causing Verstappen’s patience to wear thin – even though he himself had caused a red flag when he crashed during FP3.
“Just a stupid qualifying to be honest, but anyway it is what it is,” he told Sky F1 after Q3.
“Still P3, we have a good car. I think a good recovery from FP3 of course, everything was working out fine. But all this sh*t is all the time happening.
“It’s just unfortunate. It’s a street circuit so these things can happen and, like I said, our car is strong so I just hope tomorrow in the race we can look after our tyres and score good points.”
Of course, Verstappen would have liked to have started higher than P3, but knows it is still all to play for on Sunday in Baku – a venue where drama is always present.
“We are still up there. Of course I would have liked to have started a bit further ahead, but still all to play for,” he reasoned.
“As you can see in qualifying, a lot of things are happening so maybe in the race these things can happen again.
“Let’s hope for just a clean start and we will see from there.”
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner understood Verstappen’s frustration, having seen his driver go purple in Sector 1 and Sector 2 on his final attempt at pole.
“It was frustrating but it’s the same for everybody, they didn’t get that second lap in,” he said.
“But at least at this circuit you can overtake. Max’s frustration…I think he knew having gone purple in Sector 1, Sector 2 that there was a better lap in there. It looked like he would pick up a tow from [Fernando] Alonso there at the end of the lap as well.
“But we will never know now.”