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Formula 1 United States GP

Verstappen explains cause of track limits breach in F1 US GP qualifying

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen has said his 2023 United States Grand Prix qualifying track limits error was the result of trying to compensate for a first-corner mistake.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Verstappen, who was crowned a three-time world champion last time out in Qatar, crossed the line in the dying moments of Q3 at the Circuit of The Americas to post a 1m34.718s flying lap.

That handed him provisional pole over Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by 0.005s, but the RB19 driver swiftly had his time deleted for running wide at the exit of Turn 19 to drop down to sixth place. As a result, Leclerc will lead the front row over McLaren racer Lando Norris.

Verstappen explained that his uncharacteristic error, which he said was a “close call”, was the result of trying to make up for time lost through Turn 1, when he appeared to adjust for an under-rotating car to turn in later to run wide of the apex.

He said: “I knew in [Turn] 19 that it was going to be a close call. I had a little mistake in Turn 1, so I had to really push for it in the rest of the lap. It is fine margins.

“Honestly, I didn't even understeer. I just tried to really maximise the corner and I misjudged it by a little bit. It's very fine margins when you're pushing to the limit.

“Of course, it's a bit unfortunate but it makes the Sunday also a bit more fun.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Verstappen acknowledged there were “a lot of things” to improve ahead of sprint qualifying and the shortened race on Saturday.

He continued: “It's probably not ideal, but I've also started from the back. It's all about if you have a good pace, you will pass, you will move forward. So just keep an eye on it.

“Of course, we want to win, so for sure today was not ideal.

“But like I said, it's still a long race where a lot of things we can do better. And have a bit of fun out there as well.”

Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez clocked ninth place in qualifying after running extensively in the simulator in a bid to arrest his poor form, with his performance hurt by a lack of confidence on corner entry as the RB19 has been developed throughout the season.

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