Verstappen: Red Bull struggling more than normal in Qatar

Max Verstappen has admitted Red Bull is struggling more than usual at Formula 1’s Qatar Grand Prix, after seeing rival Lewis Hamilton take pole position.

Verstappen: Red Bull struggling more than normal in Qatar

The Dutchman has not had the smoothest of weekends, as Red Bull has been battling ongoing problems with his rear wing up until qualifying.

But he remained hopeful that he could pull something special out of the bag to put him at the front of the grid for Sunday’s race in Qatar.

Verstappen got within 0.095 seconds of Hamilton on the soft tyres runs in Q1, but could not extract more to overhaul his rival later on.

Hamilton was in a class of his own in the final Q3 session, ending up 0.455 seconds clear at the top of the timesheets.

With Red Bull’s Sergio Perez having been dumped out of qualifying in a tight Q2, despite a switch to soft tyres for a final run, Verstappen conceded that the situation was not ideal.

“I think we are just lacking a bit of pace,” he explained. “I think it's been just a bit more tricky for us.

“In qualifying, you could already clearly see Checo is not even in Q3. So it just shows that we are definitely struggling a bit more than normal.

“But nevertheless, I mean, still second, so it's all to play for of course. But I wish we could have fought for more.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The high-speed nature of the Qatar track, and its lack of heavy braking zones, means that there are few overtaking opportunities – and matters will not be helped by likely low levels of degradation in the race.

But while some think that the grand prix will be decided by the run to the first corner, Verstappen was still keeping an open mind about potential opportunities.

“It is always difficult to say because we've never really done a race here, so there's a lot of unknowns,” he said. “But I don't really think about these things too much. We just need to work on our start, and then see where we end up.”

Verstappen currently holds a 14-points advantage over Hamilton in the title standings, with three races remaining.

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes Qatar pole
Previous article

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes Qatar pole

Next article

Bottas confused by disappearing pace in Qatar GP qualifying

Bottas confused by disappearing pace in Qatar GP qualifying
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022