Max Verstappen says qualifications for the Mexican GP were ‘terrible’ from a Red Bull perspective as Mercedes won the first starting line on the track where they were expected to struggle. Verstappen and Red Bull dominated the practice — in the second practice he was 4 tenths faster than Bottas, while in the third practice Perez was 6 and a half-tenths ahead of the Finnish driver.
But in the qualifiers, everything changed abruptly. Red Bull struggled with skidding, and problems with the rear wing appeared on Verstappen's car. Verstappen's first lap in Q3 was bad and he was in third place with a big lag behind the two Mercedes.
His second attempt was better, but in corner number 10 he was interrupted by Perez and Tsunoda who flew off the track. Verstappen had to slow down and his hopes for a pole position were finished. Bottas finished in the first place, Hamilton second, while Verstappen and Perez placed 3rd and 4th.
"I don't know what happened between Yuki and Checo, but they both flew off the track, and when you run into them at that speed and see a lot of dust, you think there was a collision or something happened."
"I slowed down in corner 10, and then I realized that they were driving slowly and that they probably ran into each other. But then you already lose momentum." "I lost 2 and a half tenths, I tried to get it back in the last sector but it never worked.
From our perspective, these were terrible and we deserved what happened. " “My first lap in Q3 was horrible. I didn’t have a grip, I skidded a lot and when I saw the lag after the first lap in Q3, I thought it was fair because we had a terrible lap."
"I tried to make a couple of changes and I thought the second lap looked okay. We didn't have a great balance, but it was enough to fight for the field. Third place is not great, but I think it's still better than starting second, "explains Verstappen.
Verstappen had previously won twice in Mexico, and on both occasions, he started second. The driver who won the pole position has not celebrated in Mexico since 2016, and although this statistic is in his favor, Verstappen says he would like to start first.
"I wish I had won the pole, but now we have to accept what happened in the qualifiers. We didn’t want this, but this is not the end of the world. We will focus on the race, try to start well and see what happens in corner 1 and later in the race, ”added Verstappen.