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Verstappen: Front tyre temps wrecked qualifying chances

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Verstappen: Front tyre temps wrecked qualifying chances
By:
Sep 17, 2016, 9:08 PM

Max Verstappen says problems getting his front tyres up to temperature cost him the chance to beat Mercedes in Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, on a day that will also be remembered for a lizard-dodging moment.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Felipe Massa, Williams
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12

The Dutchman had been confident about his prospect prior to the session, but said that issues getting the tyres into the right operating window left him unable to deliver what he thought was possible.

"The whole weekend it was very good, I could drive the car," he said. "And in qualifying the car was driving me because I couldn't feel the car like I wanted to.

"The moment where it had to be done, I wasn't. You don't feel comfortable and then you can't take the risk you normally want to take. I was just fighting with the car. So yeah it was not a fantastic qualifying.

"I just couldn't get the front tyres to work for the first sector. And that just snowballs. If you can't get them ready, you don't feel comfortable, and you start locking up the tyres.

"Also in sectors two and three you're not extracting the most out of the car because in sector one you kill the understeer by going on the throttle, but that just kills the tyres.

"Sometimes you just have qualifying moments where it just doesn't come together. We will learn from it and we'll try to do better next time."

Red Bull still has strategic options in the race, and Verstappen feels that Red Bull's race pace should be better.

"Like I said, if you feel well in qualifying and everything works with the tyres, the warm-up, there can be a very big difference," he said. "Nico did a very good lap but at one point in the race the tyres will work. Hopefully we have the pace again."

Lizard incident

Verstappen became a big talking point in final free practice when he had to dodge a large lizard that had wandered on to the track.

 

The Dutchman admitted that he had been worried the reptile would run in front of him, so his only focus was on getting past it as quickly as possible.

"I was very surprised because you normally only see them in the zoo. But it was nice," he said. "I didn't want to stop there I just wanted to drive away from it but it was cool to see.

"I saw him out of the corner and I was like 'shit he's coming, he's coming'. And then I saw him stop and I was like go now. And then I saw in my mirror he was going.

"I think Felipe [Massa] was behind me and he went in between us. Maybe he was walking around here in the paddock now!"

Massa himself said that from the car the animal looked as big as a crocodile.

"Yes. It was a big one, yeah! I was on the in-lap and going slow, and when I saw it was already getting to the wall….

"It looked like a crocodile!! It was a big one. It is strange to have that in the middle of the town. If you are in India you can expect it – but we are in the middle of town. So it is a bit strange."

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