Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull are behind the Mercedes cars in terms of performance after a disappointing Qualifying session in Qatar.
The Milton-Keynes team looked far off Mercedes’ pace at the Losail International Circuit. Verstappen tried his best but could not match Lewis Hamilton’s time as the Briton took pole position in the first-ever Qatar GP. He will start from 2nd place behind Hamilton.
On the other hand, his teammate Sergio Perez had a very forgettable evening in the desert. The Mexican failed to make it into Q3 and will start the race from 11th. This gives Mercedes an undue advantage to strengthen their lead over Red Bull in the Constructor’s standings.
Jeez Perez out in Q2 is going to make Max’s race tomorrow REAL hard
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) November 20, 2021
“Checo was not even in Q3, so it definitely shows we are struggling a bit more than normal.” said Verstappen in the post-session interview. “But nevertheless, it’s still second, so it’s all to play for.”
Max Verstappen wishes they could have pushed Mercedes further
Verstappen admitted that it’s not going to plan for Red Bull in this new circuit. He has been lacking pace all weekend, and his 14 point lead over Hamilton in the standings looks very vulnerable.
Verstappen is not writing his chances off for Sunday’s race. However, he wishes the team had pushed the Silver Arrows a bit more. “I wish we could have fought for more,” said the Dutchman.
MAX: “I think just lacking a bit of pace, I think it’s just been a bit more tricky for us. Checo’s not even in Q3 so it shows that we are struggling a bit more than normal” #QatarGP 🇶🇦 #F1 pic.twitter.com/RvE6pNIeh9
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 20, 2021
Before Saturday’s session, Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko said that the goal for the session was to start pole or P3. Unfortunately for the team, Max will have to take the inside line into turn one. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished behind the Championship rivals and will be starting from third.
It is going to be an exciting battle in the first lap tomorrow. Overtaking is not expected to be easy in this circuit, so Verstappen will have to get off to a stellar start to jump Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.