Following finishing qualifying in fifth for tomorrow’s Shanghai Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was heard on his team radio directing his feelings towards his team at the shock of being unable start his final quick qualifying lap due to the time running out. By the time he faced the media he was back to his composed self.
Max made clear his anger, he was under no illusion that he had the pace and a car capable of fighting for third place on the grid tomorrow.
"I was behind the Ferraris and I did not know how much time was left for the session to end. It is a gentlemen's agreement to stay behind. I think the other cars that passed me received the signal to hurry up by their engineers. When they passed me I also wanted to hurry, but it was too late. I received the chequered flag with one or two seconds left to cross the line. It was a disaster".
Verstappen was asked to elaborate on the cause of this.
"The problem was that the other cars had the same thing that happened to me and I did not receive the call to hurry too. When I received it, I had the Renault ahead and I was left without a place. It takes 3 or 4 seconds of difference with the car ahead to not be harmed by the dirty air of the car ahead. For the next time, when I know that 15 or 20 seconds are missing for the chequered flag, I will accelerate too. "
"You always try to be as late as possible to make the last quick lap because it's perfect to do it at that moment. We were fighting for P3 and we had the opportunity to go for it. The first lap of Q3 was not perfect because I lost grip. According to my feeling, we could have achieved it. "
"Everyone is surprised with the performance of the medium tires. The race pace is good and I think we're all going to be half-way around. I have a good feeling with the car. Here in China we are much better than in Bahrain because the car is less on its side. We expect a two-stop strategy like last year, although the tires are degrading a bit more. "
Free Practice 2 certainly looked like the battle at the front would be a close one. Even though that did not come to pass during qualifying, you can be sure Verstappen will do his best to make up for it on race day. Hopefully, without any drama of colliding with cars which was witnessed at the SAIC Shanghai International Circuit last time out.