After a thrilling qualifying session at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia, the Red Bull team was left gutted as Max Verstappen crashed on his last flying lap at the end of Q3. As Verstappen headed into the final corner on the track, he was setting the fastest purple times for two of the sectors and it was looking like the Dutch driver was set to beat Lewis Hamilton’s time and on track to secure pole position until he locked up and hit the barrier.
After qualifying Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke to Sky Sports and discussed the incident with Verstappen.
“Max was on course for the lap of the season. It’s a great shame. He just grabbed the front going into the final corner. We could see on his dash that he was four-tenths up going into the corner and unfortunately he’s run out of road. It’s pretty brutal but let’s hope the gearbox isn’t damaged,” said Horner.
“It’s a great shame because it was a mighty, mighty lap. We’ll get the car back and hopefully it’s not a gearbox penalty because that would be especially brutal.”
Horner praised the 24-year old driver for his brave and bold driving style, despite ultimately making an error. Although, the Red Bull driver will be frustrated Horner reiterated he needs to focus on having a good start moving forward.
“It was looking like the lap of the year up until that moment. It’s a great shame as it was a mighty, mighty lap and he was pulling something very special out of the bag,” said Horner.
“Max will be frustrated I am sure as he knows what a good lap it was, but he just needs to put it behind him now. He’s still P3 on the grid and he just needs to have a good start, as anything could happen in this race.
With a Mercedes front-row lockout in front of Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez starting from fifth behind Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, it will be a challenging and crucial race start for the Red Bull team to overtake on the Jeddah street circuit. Horner believes that the inaugural race on the Jeddah Circuit will come down to strategy and teamwork.
“Unfortunately, we are on the back foot now, so we’ll get the car back and hope the damage isn’t too bad. Grid position on any street circuit is crucial and it’s going to be very hard to overtake here, so it’s all going to be about strategy and Checo could have a major part to play in the race.”