Max third in qualifying Tuscan Grand Prix: 'Really promising'

Published on 12 September 2020 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen has qualified third for the Tuscan Grand Prix. Max was during qualifying at the Mugello circuit very close to the Mercedes. With his time of 1:15.509 Verstappen was only four tenths off the man on pole, Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas took P2, with both Mercedes on the first row of the grid.

Max says after qualifying: “I never expected to really fight for pole, but overall so far this weekend looks really promising. We bounced back from Monza where it was very tricky. To be third here in qualifying, we can be very happy with that.”

Answering the question if the wind impacted qualifying, the Dutchman says: “The wind picked up a bit in in Q3. My first run was not amazing. I also was a bit too far behind the car in front, so I did not really have a slipstream. My second run was better, but the track was not the same because of the wind. It is what it is, the wind is always a bit tricky with these cars. You feel the car go slower on the straight and when exiting certain corners the car goes wide. In the end I was able to improve my time a bit, but it could have been closer. It is a shame, but I would not have given me a position.”

Max continues: “The track is amazing to drive. It was something special in qualifying. Tomorrow we will need to have a good start and then we will see what will happen.”

With a temperature of 29 degrees under a shining sun qualifying for the Tuscan Grand Prix starts. Max comes out on a set of soft tyres for his first flying lap. The Dutchman sets a 1:16.335 and puts himself in third position behind both Mercedes. Verstappen decides to not come out again in Q1 and his third position is enough to go through to Q2. Pierre Gasly, who surprisingly won the Italian Grand Prix last week, finishes in sixteenth position and drops out of Q1. Antonio Giovinazzi finishes seventeenth, behind him George Russell (P18), Nicholas Latifi (P19) and Kevin Magnussen (P20).

Max starts the second qualifying session with a time of 1:15.471 and is again in third position, within two tenths of a second from both Mercedes. Again, Max decides not to come out a second time, and he finished again in third position, going through to the final part of qualifying. Lando Norris (P11), Daniil Kvyat (P12), Kimi Raikkonen (P13), Sebastian Vettel (P14) and Romain Grosjean (P15) drop out of Q2.

At the start of Q3 Max comes out straight away with a set of soft tyres on this RB16. He sets a time of 1:15.546, putting him in third position, four tenths behind Lewis Hamilton who is then the quickest. In his last run Max improves his time slightly (1:15.509) but stays in third position. Hamilton takes pole, with Bottas only 0.059 seconds behind in second position.

Alexander Albon finishes fourth and Charles Leclerc fifth. Sergio Perez qualifies sixth, but because of a grid penalty for an incident with Raikkonen in second free practice, will Lance Stroll, the Mexican’s teammate at Racing Point, start from sixth position tomorrow. Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz finish eight and ninth, while Esteban Ocon because of a spin does not set a time in Q3 and finishes in tenth position.

On Sunday the Tuscan Grand Prix will start at 15:10 Dutch time.

Tuscan GP contest: win the Max Verstappen RB12 Japan 1:43 scale model!

Results qualifying Tuscany:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:15.7781:15.3091:15.144
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:15.7491:15.3221:15.203
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:16.3351:15.4711:15.509
4Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:16.5271:15.9141:15.954
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:16.6981:16.3241:16.270
6Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:16.5961:16.4891:16.311
7Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:16.7011:16.2711:16.356
8Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:16.9811:16.2431:16.543
9Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:16.9931:16.5221:17.870
10Esteban OconOCORenault1:16.8251:16.297DNF
11Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:16.8951:16.640
12Daniil KvyatKVYAlphaTauri Honda1:16.9281:16.854
13Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:17.0591:16.854
14Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:17.0721:16.858
15Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:17.0691:17.254
16Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:17.125
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:17.220
18George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:17.232
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:17.320
20Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:17.348