Max Verstappen predicts ‘fun’ US GP after falling foul of ‘fine margins’

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen addresses the media.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen addresses the media in an FIA press conference.

Max Verstappen is ready to have some “fun” in Austin after a track limits violation dumped him out of pole position and down to P6.

After just the single practice session on this sprint weekend at the United States Grand Prix, a thrilling qualifying session unfolded with Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren all in the hunt for pole.

And Verstappen seemingly had done enough as he went 0.005s clear of Charles Leclerc, though then the nervous wait began to learn of whether he had breached track limits at Turn 19.

Max Verstappen expects “fun” United States GP from P6

As it turned out, Verstappen had gone beyond the white line and so lost that time, meaning he would instead be forced to settle for a P6 grid slot.

But, while it was “unfortunate” to fall foul of track limits, Verstappen is not letting that dampen his mood for the rest of the race weekend.

“I mean, I knew in [Turn] 19 that it was going to be a close call,” Verstappen told Sky F1.

“I had a little mistake in Turn 1, so I had to really push for it in the rest of the lap. It’s fine margins, honestly.

“I didn’t even understeer, I just tried to really maximise the corner and I misjudged it by a little bit. It’s very fine margins when you’re pushing to the limit. It was a bit unfortunate, but it makes the Sunday also a bit more fun.”

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Verstappen secured his status as a three-time World Champion last time out in Qatar, following-up on his P2 in the sprint with the Grand Prix victory as he now chases a record-equalling 15th grand prix win of the season in Austin.

The Dutchman knows it is “not ideal” to start the race from P6 with that mission in mind, but pointed out that he was won from lower down the grid than that and so will have fun out there on the track.

“It’s probably not ideal, but I’ve also started further back and it’s all about if you have good pace, you will pass, you will move forward,” he said.

“Of course we want to win, so for sure today was not ideal. But it’s still a long race where a lot of things we can do better and have a bit of fun out there as well.

“But of course first we have tomorrow, the sprint day and see how that goes as well.”

It was a disappointing United States GP qualifying for Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who will launch from P9 on Sunday’s grid.

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