Max Verstappen upset after pole that got away
ISTANBUL – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was left frustrated and disappointed after the promise of a pole position was plucked from his grasp in a wet and slippery Turkish Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.
The 23-year-old had led all three practice sessions and qualifying until Racing Point’s Lance Stroll bolted on intermediate tyres and beat the Dutchman to the top slot.
“We should have been doing better switching to that tire. We definitely missed something there,” Verstappen said. “When you are first all the time, and come out second, it’s not what you want to do.”
Verstappen said his Red Bull struggled with the intermediates in the final round of qualifying, saying he did not manage to make them work after a “very, very comfortable” stint on the wet tires.
“I’m upset because the whole weekend I’ve been comfortable and I feel terrible now,” added the driver, who has won nine grands prix to date but only twice started on pole.
“Clearly something is not working for us with that tyre, and yes it was extremely disappointing when you’re first in every session and then where it matters...
“It’s not what I like, but it can’t be all the time positive – and then saying that, you’re still second – but I always want the best, I always try to do better.”
Verstappen was fastest during practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, while Lewis Hamilton, who can secure his record-equalling seventh world championship on Sunday, has struggled and qualified sixth.
Verstappen sounded sceptical about the chances for overtaking on Sunday.
“I think it’s just very hard to pass around here because there is only one line, so you can’t really go off line because you lose a lot of grip. So we’ll see how we’ll have to manage that,” he said.