Max Verstappen admits his Q3 power loss was painful as it left him in 10th place on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but says he’ll be patient trying to recover in the race.
Sergio Perez had already dropped out in Q2 for Red Bull when Verstappen was then hit with a tricky end to qualifying, locking up on his first run and only setting the seventh-fastest time, before reporting a loss of power and limping back to the pit lane. The championship leader says he’s frustrated to not be able to maximize the car’s potential even if pole position might have been a tall order.
“I just had no power exiting the pit lane on that final run,” Verstappen said. “The engine was running but there was no release, and that, of course, is painful.
“I don’t even think about the points so much. I’m just disappointed that these things happen. There are always weekends when you are not the quickest or whatever and you can lose points. It’s natural, it’s normal. But we actually had a really quick car today and you have to maximize it and be up there. Even if it’s one, two, three, you have to be up there but not P10.
“It’s going to be a bit tough for me but anything is possible. I think a lot of Sundays have already shown that this year; but round here it is hard to pass. We will stay patient and see what happens.”
Verstappen ruled out taking a power unit penalty to avoid a future grid drop, as he believes Saturday showed Red Bull to have strong pace that he wants to try and exploit.
“It was good. I was definitely surprised. All the guys and girls here and back at the factory analyzed a lot last night, because we were not happy at all. We made some really positive changes and the car was a lot better to drive for me.
“We looked very competitive — in Q2 and even on a used tire set we were always there and very quick. I was looking forward to Q3 and then the first lap didn’t go to plan, but then I knew the pace of the car was there. Unfortunately we couldn’t show it.”
The Dutchman admits it was a bonus for him to see Ferrari fail to take pole position as George Russell delivered an impressive final lap to beat Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
“I was surprised to see it. They were close but I didn’t expect them to make that jump in Q3, but it was nice for me as well.”