Verstappen: We ‘lost our way’ after Q2

Date published: October 31 2020

Max-Verstappen-PA

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull “lost their way” in Q2 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after he qualified P3.

The Dutchman was hoping to continue his good work from practice and take the fight to Mercedes in qualifying as Formula 1 returned to Imola for the first time since 2006, but ultimately he will start the race from P3 after missing out on pole by 0.567s.

Sadly Verstappen’s afternoon wasn’t helped by a loss of power in Q2, and he was only able to get a late lap on the board to progress thanks to the relentless work of his mechanics to fix the issue.

Nonetheless, he felt Red Bull “lost their way” after Q2.

“It wasn’t really a great qualifying because of that. I only did two laps in Q1 and then you want to go out, get that run in in Q2, but then with the trouble it was a bit tricky,” he told Sky F1.

“Also the medium tyres okay we got through, we did our lap, but then it also gives you good reference to get into Q3 and we definitely seemed to struggle with that.

“The first run in Q3 there just wasn’t a lot of grip, I think the second run was a little bit better but it was just difficult.

“At the end of the day P3 not bad, but I personally expected to be a little bit closer [to Mercedes], to be able to fight them a little bit more.

“I think after Q2 we just lost our way a little bit.”

A lot has changed in Formula 1 since 2006 and the last visit to Imola, and a concern of this old-school circuit is that these wide cars which struggle to follow each other will simply be too big to make a race entertaining.

However, Verstappen no longer has that concern.

“The track is really cool,” he said.

“It’s really enjoyable to drive, I initially thought it was going to be a bit too narrow for these cars but it’s fine.

“I really enjoy it, so I hope that tomorrow we can also have a really cool race here.”

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Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon will start from P6, though he is optimistic that he can work his way up the order on Sunday after missing out on P4 by under a tenth.

Something he didn’t have much faith in though was track limits after becoming one of many drivers to have times deleted during qualifying.

“Honestly I don’t know why we’re changing different corners and different track limits, just put gravel in and we’ll be fine,” he said.

“Always in that Q3 run two you try not to think about it but when you need to put a lap time on the board…

“I’m quite happy with the gap to Max, it’s just very tight up there and one tenth would have been P4.

“We can race from there, the track obviously no one knows really how it’s going to be.

“Degradation looks high on paper, so we’ll see.”

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