Max Verstappen is happy that Red Bull Racing is getting closer and closer to the dominating Mercedes. Although he is still somewhat disappointed to qualify third, he thinks there are still plenty of opportunities on Sunday to win.
Max Verstappen believes Red Bull is “getting closer towards Mercedes” after a strong qualifying showing at Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix.
Verstappen topped the opening qualifying session at the Nurburgring, and was the quickest driver at the start of Q3, but ultimately wound up third behind both Mercedes drivers, 0.256s off the pace of polesitter Valtteri Bottas.
Despite missing out on what would have been a first pole position of the season for Red Bull, Verstappen was left encouraged by the team’s performance.
“It was an interesting qualifying after missing the whole of yesterday for everyone it was very busy today,” Verstappen said.
“Overall, I think it was a pretty decent qualifying, just in Q3 I started understeering a bit too much and when it’s so cold when you are understeering, you are graining the front tyres and basically eating up the rubber, which cost me a bit of lap time.
“We are getting closer towards Mercedes which I think is very positive. So, in a way, I’m a little bit disappointed because I was expecting a little bit more but it is what it is. I think overall, I can still be happy.”
The Dutchman, who has two previous pole positions in F1, explained that Red Bull’s improvements has mainly come from new development parts the team has introduced.
“The engine is the same,” he said. “We brought a few upgrades so the car is working a bit better. Of course with only having run today there is still la lot of things to go through and analyse and optimise because of the understeer I can in the car.
“But it’s definitely a good step forward so we are in the right way so I just hope we can keep heading into that direction and keep improving.”
Asked whether he feels Red Bull will have a better chance of challenging Mercedes in the race, Verstappen replied: “I hope so.
“It’s going to be even colder tomorrow, so it’s going to be even more interesting to see what the tyres are going to do and how they are going to behave.
“It’s a fun track to drive, so I’m just looking forward to tomorrow and to see what we can do.”
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 14:18||1st Qualifying|
|14h25 - 14h40||2nd Qualifying|
|14h48 - 15h00||3rd Qualifying|
|13:10 - 15:10||Race|