Max Verstappen struggled all weekend in Turkey, but still managed to put his Red Bull in thrid position in qualifying.
Thanks to Lewis Hamilton's penalty, though, the Dutchman will start the race from the front row alongside Valtteri Bottas. The Finn will do anything to keep the race leadership, but also to help his team mate for the championship fight. There are just two points between Verstappen and Hamilton, and every race now can make a huge difference.
Red Bull - dressed in a special white livery to celebrate the partnership with Honda in what should've been the Japan GP wekeend - managed to improve the RB16B overnight: the team was struggling with the single race pace, but seemed more competitve over race pace. Hamiilton will start from 11th, but Verstappen is on the dirty side of the track: not just Bottas, the Dutch man also must defend himself from Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly in second row. Everything is to play for in Turkey.
“I am of course happy with third and starting on the front row tomorrow. We improved a little bit from yesterday and the balance is a bit better but overall this weekend has been a bit more difficult," Verstappen admitted.
MAX: "Conditions were tricky but overall the laps were quite good.— Formula 1 (@F1) October 9, 2021
"We didn't have enough to fight for pole but I'm pretty happy. Let's see how the weather is tomorrow and how competitive we can be"#TurkishGP 🇹🇷 #F1 pic.twitter.com/wpxwFz87Qs
"I hope for a clean get away tomorrow but starting on the inside will be tricky, as there is very low grip in both dry and wet conditions compared to the outside, so we are expecting to lose out there slightly. We also need to consider the gap behind us, it’s much tighter than usual. We’ll aim to make the best of it and try everything we can tomorrow to keep the Mercedes behind but it’s not going to be easy, they’ve had great pace all weekend".