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 switched to intermediate tyres to claim his first-ever pole in Formula One and beat the Dutchman to top spot.
‘We should have been doing better switching to that tyre. We definitely missed something there,’ Verstappen said.
Max Verstappen was the standout performer in practice but was then surprised by Lance Stroll
Canadian Stroll was the only driver to dip below one minute 48 seconds to claim pole in Turkey
‘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 tyres.
‘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 with a win – has struggled and qualified sixth.
Lewis Hamilton needs to win on Sunday to secure a record-equalling seventh world title
Hamilton would match the record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004 if he emerged victorious.
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.
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