Max after P2 in Friday qualifying: 'We have to look at ourselves'
Published on 16 July 2021 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen will start Formula 1’s first sprint qualifying on Saturday from P2 on the grid. The Dutchman was quick through the Friday qualifying session but had to yield top spot to Lewis Hamilton. The latter’s Mercedes’ teammate, Valtteri Bottas, completed the top three.
“We have to look at ourselves. The car was not bad, but we had a lot of understeer, so I couldn’t really attack the corners”, said Max. “I was waiting for the front to grip. It was a bit strange because I don’t think it was front wing or set-up related. It is what it is, but we’re still close.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s qualifying race, the Red Bull Racing driver said: “It’s a bit strange. We qualify, go flat out, but this doesn’t really have a pole position vibe. We’ll see tomorrow. I think we have a quick car for the race, but we need to address the issues from today. I’m sure we can have a strong race.”
After his first effort, Max decides to stay in the garage and watch the remaining minutes of Q1 unfold from his car. From his cockpit, he sees Tsnudo, Raikkonen, Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin strand in the first part of qualifying.
In Q2, both Mercedes and Max comfortably progress through. Further back, it is the usual midfield battle with George Russell springing the biggest surprise by managing the seventh fastest time. In the end, Gasly, Ocon, Giovinazzi and Stroll fall short of the mark and exit qualifying in the second part.
Both Mercedes and Max opt for two flying laps in Q3. The first round goes to Hamilton, who climbs to the top of the leader boards after clocking purple sectors in one and three, countering Max’ purple in sector two.
Local hero George Russell gets a loud roar from the British crowd after his sole flying lap in Q3 grants him an impressive seventh place.
In the closing minutes, all eyes are on Max and Lewis. The latter is the first to start his final run. After two purple sectors, the world champion looks set to improve his lap time, but a scrappy final two corners mean he does not better his earlier effort. Meanwhile, Max improves on his own lap but, in the end, he falls less than a tenth short as Hamilton takes P1 on the starting grid for tomorrow’s sprint qualifying.
|2||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:26.751||1:26.315||1:26.209|
|5||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:27.121||1:27.073||1:26.844|
|6||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:27.444||1:27.220||1:26.897|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||McLaren Mercedes||1:27.323||1:27.125||1:26.899|
|8||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:27.671||1:27.080||1:26.971|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||VET||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:27.493||1:27.103||1:27.179|
|11||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Alpine Renault||1:27.580||1:27.245|
|12||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:27.600||1:27.273|
|13||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:27.415||1:27.340|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:27.595||1:27.617|
|15||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:28.017||1:27.665|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda||1:28.043|
|17||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:28.062|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:28.254|
|19||Mick Schumacher||MSC||Haas Ferrari||1:28.738|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||MAZ||Haas Ferrari||1:29.051|