Max Verstappen says this year’s Red Bull is “clearly” worse than the 2019 car, but doesn’t know the reason for the issues.
After looking like the second quickest at the Red Bull Ring, the team failed to get anywhere near Mercedes in qualifying in Hungary and were beaten by both Racing Points and Ferraris.
Verstappen could only manage P7 and, having claimed pole position at the same track last season, says the car feels considerably worse a year on.
“I don’t know why the car behaves like this,” he told Sky Sports.
“Clearly, something is not working well compared to last year, when we had a very good balance on this track.
“The whole week was very tricky and it is very difficult to understand. We have tried a lot but it doesn’t really seem to work, it really is a disappointing qualification.”
To make matters worse, both Mercedes and Racing Point will start the race on the medium tyre, giving them a preferable strategy.
Due to their lack of pace, both Red Bulls had to use the softs to ensure they made it to Q3, and will, therefore, start on them.
“The speed of all teams is close together so we have to wait and see how things will go,” Verstappen added.
“Of course, we won’t start on the better tyre for the race, but it is what it is. I’m going to do my best tomorrow and we’ll see where we end up. It’s definitely going to be hard to catch up on this circuit.”
It was an even worse Saturday for Alex Albon. The Thai driver has been unhappy with the car all weekend and failed to get out of Q2, being forced to settle for P13.
He initially blamed his poor final lap of the session on the team sending him out in traffic, but now concedes that wasn’t the only reason for his struggles.
“It’s a little bit of everything. Of course, I wasn’t driving a great lap,” he said.
“We had another lap to do something about it. But okay, there’s just more than one thing going on. We just need to discuss it with the team now and be better prepared for next time.
“It’s better than yesterday in the third free practice, but not so much in qualifying. We just have to figure it out better. I can’t say much more about it.”