Verstappen on Stroll penalty decision: Is what it is

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

Informed that Lance Stroll kept his pole position after a stewards’ investigation, Max Verstappen says it “is what it is”, he should have qualified better.

Verstappen will start Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix second on the grid despite dominating the weekend’s sessions.

Quickest in all three practices and two seconds up in Q1 and again in Q2, he lost pole position to Stroll in a shock final qualifying segment.

The Racing Point driver put in a stunning final lap on the intermediate tyres, clocking a 1:47.765 to beat Verstappen by 0.290s.

Shortly after, though, the stewards announced that they were looking into Stroll’s final lap to see if he had slowed sufficiently for yellow flags for Sergio Perez’s Turn 7 off.

They declared that he had, and Stroll held onto his maiden pole position.

Informed of the decision, Verstappen told De Telegraaf: “It is what it is.

“If we wanted to be on pole we should have qualified better.”

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The dejected Verstappen was seen being consoled by a team member before making his way to the post-race press conference where he admitted he was “upset” about his result.

“I think it’s the first time I sit here this year upset,” he said. “So, I think that says it all.

“It was all going quite well on the Wet tyres but already in Q1 when I tried to go on the inters it was just not working at all even compared to other people on inters around me.

“So, I was, in Q3 not very sure to go on inters because I felt really comfortable on the extreme tyres so, once we boxed and we went out, I had no grip at all compared to the laps I was doing before.

“Just very disappointing to be second.”

Asked whether he could turn that P2 into a P1 come Sunday, especially as the Mercedes team-mates are starting sixth and ninth with Lewis Hamilton ahead of Valtteri Bottas, the Dutchman felt he was starting on the wrong side of the grid to get the better getaway.

“I don’t know. We’ll find out tomorrow, to be honest,” he said.

“I think Lewis and Valtteri are a bit further down but I’m also starting now on the inside so that’s not very lovely. But we’ll find out tomorrow.”

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