Max Verstappen has voiced his disappointment with the results of the first Sprint Qualifying of the season – but says he’s not losing all hope.
Verstappen says he’s not worried about their ability to fight in the race taking place at 2:30 pm this afternoon, and pinpointed the reason for their lack of performance.
The Red Bull driver told Sky Sports: “Everything was going quite well. I think the pace was good but first lap in SQ3 I had a big moment in five and six and then the tyres are really hot and I had a moment in seven.
“On the big lap with the most grip, we had a terrible sector two so that was not fantastic.
“We managed to do another lap and not too many people seemed to be able to pull out (more) so I think the pace is good. Bit unfortunate to be P3 but with this heat and how the tyres are behaving I don’t think it will be a straightforward Sprint. So it’s still all to play for.
“I’m not worried, in the race we can fight.”
He later added that: “It’s not the easiest to go to the limit around this track and it’s also tough to get the tyres in the right window. I think we kept it quite clean today and we progressed nicely, overall, we can be pleased.
“Of course, we want to be on pole but it’s about the bigger picture. Charles looks pretty competitive this weekend, he always does in Baku. There are a few characteristics of the track that suit Ferrari and there are others that suit us better.
In true Verstappen form, he remains calm, cool, and collected and insists he was happy with the setup and the team have a car that is ready to score points on Sunday.
“There’s no big drama. I was happy with the setup of the car and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it will be good to see what we can improve on and do better,” he said.
“We need to have straightforward sessions tomorrow, it’s super easy to make a mistake around here. We have a good race car and the points are scored tomorrow and on Sunday, so that’s what we’ll focus on”.