Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Verstappen explains thinking behind failed Azerbaijan GP Q3 out-lap bid

Max Verstappen says the more aggressive out-lap he tried at the end of Q3 for Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix was triggered by a lack of certainty over tyre behaviour.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, in the pit lane

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Red Bull driver experimented with a different approach to his final run in Q3 to get more heat into his tyres, as he aimed to hold on to the top spot he had secured earlier after the first runs.

But the plan did not work as Verstappen struggled for grip on his last effort, opening the door for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to take a surprise pole position.

With teams having had just a single practice session before qualifying, they have been left facing much greater uncertainty about the behaviour of tyres.

And it was attempting to unlock an extra edge by being more aggressive on the out-lap that ultimately backfired for the Dutchman, as he was pipped and left second on the grid.

Asked by Autosport to explain the thinking behind the change of approach, Verstappen said: "I was just trying to put a bit more temperature in them [the tyres].

"It's just after FP1, I think sometimes you're not fully understanding what you want to do in qualifying. The first one was good, but it was still not perfect. So we tried, it could have worked and then it looks amazing.

"It's a bit like what happened in Australia. This time it didn't work, but it's not the end of the world."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Verstappen felt that Leclerc's pole position did not come totally out of the blue, as he pointed out that Ferrari has shown itself to be pretty strong on single qualifying laps so far.

"If you look at all the qualifying, I think in general it's been quite close in the first three rounds," he said.

"We have a really good race car, but it's never really been, super dominant over one lap. I don't know why that is.

Read Also:

"It was the same last year. It was also a bit down to being overweight. But then at one point we started to trim that down and it was still not our best day, on the Saturday.

"Sometimes it is just the way the car works, but we all know that the points are on Sunday. So I don't mind if it's a little bit slow on Saturday and quick on Sunday."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Norris: McLaren "in the middle of nowhere" for rest of Baku F1 weekend
Next article Explained: Norris and Tsunoda first F1 drivers to take sprint qualifying gamble

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe