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"It's terrible," admits Verstappen

NEWS STORY
04/12/2021

"I thought there might be a bit to gain," says Max Verstappen, following "terrible" mistake that denied him almost certain pole.

Quickest in the first and second sectors, Max Verstappen seemed certain to claim his first pole position since Mexico, until a mistake at the final corner saw him hit the barriers.

The error means that title rival Lewis Hamilton starts from pole, with Mercedes teammate alongside.

"Yeah, it's of course terrible," he said in the moments after the session. "But that was generally a good qualifying. It was a bit hard of course to switch on the tyres here on the street circuit, but I knew the pace was there and it showed in the last segment.

"I don't really understand what happened," he admitted, "I locked up and I still tried to of course keep the car on the track, try to finish the lap but I clipped the rear and had to stop.

"I saw it was a good lap," he continued, "I was three-tenths faster on my delta, I thought the last corner there might be a bit to gain. I knew Lewis was a tenth, a tenth and a half ahead, but I approached it like I always do in qualifying. But now somehow I just locked up.

"I have to see if I braked later or not, from my feeling I didn't. It's just really disappointing because it was a really good lap up until then, I was really enjoying it."

Despite his initial upset, and the fact that he starts from third, the Dutchman is in no mood to give in.

"Of course, not to finish it is really disappointing," he said, "especially now in this fight, you want to start first. But nevertheless in a way it also gives me hope because in Qatar we were four and a half tenths off and in the race, it was going to be really tough. Here, I think we have a good shot at it.

"Today I'm upset with myself," he admitted, "but there are still two races to go, lots of things can happen. I feel good with the car, luckily we've been competitive, not like Qatar where we've been off. It's a nice battle, it's exciting, you go into a session not knowing who's going to be ahead of the two teams.

"I think that's always really cool for everyone. Hopefully it's going to be the same tomorrow."

"It was looking like the lap of the year up until that moment," said Christian Horner. "It's a great shame as it was a mighty, mighty lap and he was pulling something very special out of the bag.

"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.

"Unfortunately, we are on the back foot now," he admitted, "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."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Jeddah, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Defiant, 05/12/2021 1:53

"@Kkiirmki I agree, worst case scenario. His closest rival made a similar mistake on a trip to the pits in his first year, that probably cost him a title as well."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Defiant, 05/12/2021 1:51

"I think Max has a lot to be happy with today, he was incredible.... right up until he wasn't, but f1 has always had moments like this throughout history.
I'm sure he learned something useful today, regardless of the outcome."

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3. Posted by Thomas, 05/12/2021 0:32

"Hi Max,
I consider today's error as "cup is half full!" Do not worry about this incident. This failure point today tells you what to avoid in tomorrow’s real race. I would consider this as an error that would have been done on race day. Nothing changes. Please keep the same attitude and temperament going in tomorrow. Avoid accidents and increase your controlled aggression and boldness gradually towards SUCCESS! Best of Luck!
Successes are built on failures!
"

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4. Posted by Kkiirmki, 04/12/2021 21:54

"This could be a championship defining error."

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