Max Verstappen will start from third place in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimão, despite setting what proved to be the fastest time in the final round of qualifying at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Verstappen ended up running wide at turn 4 on his lap because of blustery tail winds at turn 4, and that meant he exceeded track limits and had his time deleted.
His second attempt later in the session wasn’t good enough to beat the two Mercedes drivers, forcing him to accept a second row grid spot for the race.
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“I started off in qualifying really slow, I had no balance in the car. We slowly got to a point where I was happier, but I was basically compromising one thing, and then losing a bit of performance in the other thing. It was just not nice.
“The first lap in Q3 was actually decent but I had a big moment at turn 4,” he told the media in parc ferme after the end of the session. “That corner is flat, and suddenly out of the blue the car just snapped on me and I ran a bit wide.
“I thought I can do that lap again, so I go out, I was within a tenth of the lap,” he continued. “Then in the last sector I lost all my lap time with an Aston Martin in front, and then taking my tow on the line as well.
“So yeah, messy, but it is what it is.
“The car in front just disturbs you especially with the low grip we already have and the tough wind,” he pointed out. “It cost me a lot of lap time, but it is what it is
“All qualifying was very difficult to drive, struggling a lot with grip,” he said. “Hopefully everything stabilises a bit more, because up until now it’s not been a lot of fun to drive here.
“I didn’t enjoy one single lap this weekend, just because of the state of the track,” he complained. “The layout is amazing, but the grip we are experiencing, I don’t think it’s nice.
“I know it’s the same for everyone, but for me personally, it’s not enjoyable to drive.
“We’ll see tomorrow what we can do. It’s not so easy to follow here, but if we have good pace, then for sure we’ll put the pressure on.”
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