Max Verstappen has said that both he and the car were not on top form in the third and final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchman qualified in P4, behind Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel, and ahead of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
“Q3 was not very good. I had too much understeer and it seemed like the side of the tyre was not strong enough for us,” Verstappen said. “Then you cannot attack the curves and you notice that especially in the final sector. It just was not good enough today.”
The two Red Bull drivers had slightly different setups, with the Dutchman choosing to run with a skinnier rear wing.
“I drove a different wing setting than Daniel [Ricciardo] did, and I think I made the right choice,” Verstappen continued.
And also, because of the split in strategies in Q2, Verstappen will start on the favoured supersofts, while Vettel, who starts P3, will start on the ultrasofts.
The Dutchman believes that the Red Bull could have the advantage as the race gets into its latter stages.
“Sebastian [Vettel] will have an advantage on the ultrasofts that have more grip at the start, but then we have to wait and see how long everyone else can go on their tyres,” he added. “Normally I should be able to go longer on the supersofts, so I will try my best in the race tomorrow!”