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Verstappen says crash was 'a bit odd'

09 April, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Lora Ball
  • GETTYMax Verstappen had a disappointing Australian Grand Prix

"Yesterday our race pace didn't look bad but I think our vehicle in FP2 wasn't as good as it is now, so it's encouraging to know that our auto should be even better tomorrow and hopefully it puts us in the fight", he said.

"We will start in fourth place now with Lewis's penalty so I think it is going to be exciting".

It all leads up to Sunday's race, which starts at 4.10pm BST and where Hamilton and Vettel will again expect to lead the pack.

Verstappen is not ruling out recovering to fight for the podium and his confidence comes from the long-run pace Red Bull were able to display during the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. "Basically we were doing another lap to get the engine to learn a little bit more in order to optimise its settings".

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In a boost for Ferrari, both Mercedes cars were more than half a second slower than the best lap set by Raikkonen, who would be investigated by race stewards for an unsafe auto release following a pitstop.

Raikkonen was later investigated by race stewards for an unsafe auto release following a pitstop.

But Verstappen's chances were shattered in the first qualifying session as he crashed into the barriers after losing the rear end of his vehicle at turn two. He escaped a grid penalty for Sunday's race and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100). Hamilton was over a second off Ricciardo's lap and eight-tenths off the time set by Vettel in fourth.

Dutchman Max Verstappen was unable to clock a competitive time after suffering a gearbox problem in his Red Bull in the opening minutes of the session. The Dutch driver spun early into the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago, finishing in sixth place.

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The Dutch driver got out and helped stewards wheel the vehicle back to the team garage.

Verstappen headed into the qualifying session with the hope he could get his vehicle high up on the grid for tomorrow's race. "It meant that I spent the beginning of the second session searching for the balance of the auto", Verstappen said.

Vettel won in Melbourne, profiting from an error by Mercedes to finish ahead of Hamilton, who was leading from pole. It was not as much as in the practice but there were still problems on the straight, just not the deployment I wanted, so the team told me to do another lap to try and calibrate it better.

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