Verstappen angered by Q3 antics

13/04/2019
NEWS STORY

It was almost inevitable that it would end in tears. In the ultimate game of brinkmanship, in the final moments of Q3 all ten drivers headed out, almost as one.

As the train of cars headed around the track however, rather than hold station, a couple took the opportunity to overtake the car ahead. Needing clear air, this resulted in the overtaken drivers having to slow down to create a gap.

As a result of this however, some failed to make it across the line in time to complete a final flying lap and therefore had to settle for their previous time - or in the case of the Haas duo, no previous time - and one of those worst affected was Max Verstappen, who qualified fifth, but claims that but for the shenanigans he could have qualified third.

The Dutchman's frustration is evidenced by his radio conversation with his engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, who urged him: "Mate, you need to go now."

"Ah mate, f*****g hell. I'm finished right?" replied Verstappen as the chequered flag fell.

"We are finished," was the response.

"They are such wankers, honestly," said Verstappen. "Everybody just lining up and they are just f*****g it up. You're just trying to be nice but everybody's just f*****g it up."

In a subsequent interview with Ziggo Sport, Verstappen claimed that his rivals had broken a code of conduct whereby they hold station during out-laps and don't overtake.

"We were just staying neatly behind each other, but at a certain point Vettel passed me and the two Renaults as well," he fumed. "So they f****d up my entire build up, while there is an unwritten rule that you just follow each other.

"I was just trying to follow the Ferrari in front of me and trying to be nice," he added, I could also have overtaken him but it's just not what you do in qualifying.

"But whatever," he warned. "From now on in qualifying I'm going to f**k them up as well."

"This time it caught me out," he admitted in a subsequent interview. "So of course I'm not happy about that but it will swing around and it will come back to others as well sometimes. It's annoying because we could have fought for third today but now we just have to do some more overtaking."

"Max was in a good position," team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports, "and then Sebastian passed him around the outside and then he hung back not to get into Sebastian's dirty air and the Renaults passed him and he hung back again.

"Unfortunately, the clock ticking down the way it was, he didn't make it to the line in time. It was a shame because it would have been a good opportunity to try and improve there. I think we could have made the second row today."

"We all left for the same spot and, if you are at the end of the train as I was, it was quite difficult," said Vettel. "When the team told me we only had ten seconds margin to cross the line in time to make another attempt, I had to think of something.

"I don't know if others were not told," he added. "If everyone would have sped up the way I did then we would have all made it, but I obviously prioritised at that point to make the lap. It felt like the others were not aware."

The delay to Verstappen also impacted teammate Pierre Gasly, who also failed to improve, not helped by the Dutchman appearing to block him, while, in all fairness, Haas simply sent its two drivers out too late for what was there sole Q3 run.

"You must be kidding me," was Romain Grosjean's fairly polite response, while teammate Kevin Magnussen wasn't quite as understanding, launching a string of expletives.

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Published: 13/04/2019
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