Mercedes out of reach – Verstappen

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After qualifying over a second behind the pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen said that the dominant Mercedes is currently out of reach.

Ahead of the race weekend, Verstappen said that he would be glad to get within half a second of the pole position lap time. The Dutchman’s hope did, however, not materialize after Lewis Hamilton set a new lap record with a time of 1’24.303 to claim his 91st career pole position. The Briton’s effort was 1.022 second quicker than the Dutchman’s fastest time with which Verstappen earned his third grid position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.

“In general, I would say we had a good qualifying session and got everything out of the car that we could. My final lap in Q3 was good but you could see very early on that Mercedes were too fast, just like they have been for the past few races. I’m happy with P3 and it gives us a fighting chance for tomorrow, so I hope we can get a clean start and keep the pressure up.

Although the gap to the field-leading Mercedes was demoralizing, Verstappen was delighted with the improvements Red Bull has achieved with its new parts it introduced for this weekend.

„The wind is a big factor here and these cars are very sensitive to that. Yesterday it was really tricky with the low speed corners, but we are still learning about the car and trying to improve it. I think we have found a good direction, it seems more predictable this weekend and it was a lot of fun to drive today. I don’t think there was much more I could do but let’s see tomorrow. We will try to score some good points, at least stay in third, but we always hope for a little bit more.”

The energy drink-owned team’s Thai driver Alexander Albon has had a mixed weekend so far. Although he showed improved pace during the practice sessions, but a crash in FP2 and electrical issues in FP3 have made his weekend more difficult than anticipated.

“We were looking pretty strong this weekend and yesterday was a lot better than today but it’s not a weekend to forget yet and there is still a race tomorrow. We were on the back foot slightly heading into qualifying after missing the track time in FP3 and I just struggled getting up to speed. It was tricky out there, the wind is changing all the time and the balance changes with that so we needed a bit of fine tuning.”

Despite failing to getting through to Q3 and qualifying down in the 12th position, Albon is optimistic, hoping for much better fortunes on Sunday.

„The times in Q2 are also obviously very tight out there so a small amount of time was worth a lot of grid positions, and we just lost out. It is what it is but tomorrow we have free tyre choice so hopefully we can do something special with that and get some good points.”