Normally drivers have three free practice sessions to get their car in optima before qualifying starts. For the Grand Prix this weekend there was only one free practice on Saturday morning. Max Verstappen did not like it when the plan was announced but likes it in hindsight.
"It was nice. We hit the ground running, quite smoothly. I didn’t really have a lot of problems with the car, like no balance issues, so then, of course, it’s great when you have only one practice session" the Dutchman explained at the FIA press conference after qualifying.
"Of course when you’re struggling a bit more with the car then you would like to have another practice session, so I guess sometimes it’s good, sometimes you will experience a bit more trouble."
Problems during qualifying
This was precisely what happened to Verstappen in qualifying when he was suddenly unable to use the full power of the engine during Q2. "I had power. Then not. Then it kicked in again. Then not. They told me to keep going but I said, ‘guys, I’m losing quite a bit of lap-time here on the straight’ because at one point I aborted because it didn’t make sense to continue. We’ll have a more detailed look at what exactly went wrong. I didn’t speak to my engineers yet because it doesn’t make sense to go through qualifying discussing what broke. Just focus on the job."
The Red Bull Racing driver are hoping to do the same tomorrow and challenge the competition. "Long-run was alright, so hopefully we’ll be a bit similar tomorrow. Let’s hope that, top-speed-wise, we’re on a good position tomorrow. I don’t think it’s going to be very easy to pass anyway but we’ll see. We’ll see what we can do," concludes Verstappen.