Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020

Verstappen “upset” to miss pole after leading every session before Q3

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen admitted he was “upset” to miss pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix having been quickest in every session until the end of qualifying.

The Red Bull driver will start tomorrow’s race from second place after Lance Stroll beat him to pole position by less than three-tenths of a second.

Both drivers switched from wet weather tyres to intermediates at the end of the session as the track dried. Verstappen, who led all three practice sessions as well as Q1 and Q2, had been comfortably quicker on the wet weather tyres, but could not replicate his advantage on the shallow-grooved intermediate rubber.

“I’m just upset because the whole weekend we are first, we look very comfortable, and then we lose out in Q3,” he said.

Verstappen said he took no consolation from having comfortably out-qualified season-long rivals Mercedes.

“At the end of the day I don’t care where the Mercedes is,” he said. “I just look at our performance and that’s not just good in Q3. That’s why I’m so upset.

“You can’t look at other people’s performance to judge your performance you have to look at yourself. And clearly in Q3 it was not good.”

Verstappen said he couldn’t understand why he found such a small improvement after switching to the intermediate tyres.

“I was going faster but I had no grip compared to the balance I had before,” he said. “Probably it was the right tyre to be on but it was not good like that.

“We should have been doing better switching to that tyre compared to what we were doing before. We were constantly in first compared to everyone else on the extreme tyre. So we definitely missed something there.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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    16 comments on “Verstappen “upset” to miss pole after leading every session before Q3”

    1. So he should be, aborted a lap to switch to wets was criminal especially since he set 2 purple sectors.

      1. Aborted the lap on wets to switch to inters. Came back out on inters behind Kimi who was on a set of wets up to temperature and couldn’t pass him for at least two laps.

        The inters weren’t working well then couldn’t get maximum temperature stuck behind Kimi.

        I think he gets an easy pole on wets.

      2. @icarby that was two purple sectors against lap times that were in the 1m52s bracket at the time, and at that point the best lap time that he had managed on the full wet tyres in any particular session was a low 1m50s time (in Q2).

        It is easy to say that “he would have been on pole”, but is there evidence from his lap times that he was actually going to do so? If he was on course to set a similar time to that he set in Q2 – around a 1m50s time – then he’d still have needed to find several seconds to take pole, which might not necessarily have been quite as easy as some are suggesting.

        Judging by the amount of time that other drivers were gaining by switching to inters, I would say that the team do seem to have made the correct call there – even Max’s own times on the intermediates, once he was getting more temperature into them after passing Kimi, were quick enough that he probably did go faster on them in the end than he was likely to have done on the wets.

        1. The issue was coming out behind Kimi and effectively losing two laps. Then having to build up to the optimal temperature for the inters.

    2. I know stroll got P1, but watching Max lapping 5s faster than most of the grid whilst on wets made me emotional. It was everything F1 should be, putting the driver in the spotlight. Beautiful

      1. We haven’t seen that kind of dominance in the wet probably since Senna Donnington 93, Schumacher Spain 96, Schumacher Monaco and Spa 97.

        Even on a tyre that never fired up on his car he still nearly snatched pole against a car perfectly suited to the tyre.

        That’s why he’s the driver he is. Genuinely distraught at finishing second.

        1. Oh behave!! We HAVE had this before… difference was Lewis gets it done when hes dominating in qualy. Let’s have some continuity here… Lewis would be slammed for being out qualified by Lance Stroll ( who i rate as a very good driver) so let’s have the same reaction for all eh?

        2. Don’t forget about Hungary 2006, it should have been one of the most stunning wins of all time for Alonso from the back of the grid, but a disastrous pitstop ruined it; finally it was Button’s maiden victory instead. Anyway, Alonso’s opening lap was arguably the best ever.

      2. It’s kind of silly how Lewis doesn’t get enough credit for being far and away the best driver on the grid because of his car, but now it’s only the driver who is in the spotlight. The Red Bull works better in the wet. That’s why Max was doing well today.

        If you care so much about amazing driver skill, you should be emotional every week.

    3. Max “I’m a bit disappointed, of course. In the race tomorrow we can do well but when you’re first all the time and then you come second it’s not what you want.”

      Now you know what Bottas feels like. Max is a Bottas V3

    4. Don’t forget the Portugal Reminder, Max.

    5. Cometh the hour… DOH! 🤣

    6. Gotta love the competitor in him not being happy coming in second when he knows there was a first in it today, even though ultimately it wasn’t for any points.

    7. And now Stroll just one pole away from matching Max’s career total

    8. Basically Verstappen crumbles when it comes to the crunch.
      When red bull suddenly found pace to out qualify the Mercedes it was ricciardo who would grab the pole.
      Verstappen just doesn’t seem to have that extra edge when it counts.

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