Max Verstappen says that he is focusing on passing Sebastian Vettel at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix after securing second on the grid.
After both Red Bull drivers were beaten for pole by the Ferrari, Verstappen suggests that the start of the race will be crucial if the team are to win in Singapore.
“During the race it will be difficult to pass him [Vettel], so we’ll have to see on the first lap,” says Verstappen.
“I’ll focus a lot on the start. If not, then you settle for second into turn one and you see what happens during the race. It’s such a long race, a lot of things can happen.”
Despite Red Bull consistently showing strong pace in practice, neither Verstappen or team mate Daniel Ricciardo were able to beat Vettel’s blistering final lap.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t put it on pole,” says Verstappen. “I think the final lap was not quite there, but we were quite close so I’m pretty happy with that.
“He was improving and improving. In Q2, he was close and then in Q3 he made another step, which we also predicted, but we couldn’t react to that. I took quite a bit of risk on my lap and thought it was quite good.”
Having only just missed out on his first career pole position, Verstappen says he is happy with the performance of his RB13 throughout the weekend so far.
“I think we’ve had a good buildup this weekend in general,” says Verstappen. “I’m very pleased. We’ve improved the car and I think that in qualifying, I had the best balance that I had so far in the weekend, which is also very positive.”