Verstappen defends "logical" strategy despite Q2 exit

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen believes he was “very unlucky” to miss out on the final qualifying segment in Canada, defending the decision to qualify on the medium as “logical”.

Verstappen defends "logical" strategy despite Q2 exit

Verstappen mirrored the two Ferraris and two Mercedes cars in heading out on the medium C4 tyre at the start of the second qualifying segment, looking to secure it as his starting compound for Sunday.

But he was left outside of the top 10 after his initial run – and though he was on course to progress to Q3 after returning to the track on the quicker soft tyre, Kevin Magnussen's late crash brought out the red flag and forced the Dutchman to abandon his attempt.

This meant Verstappen qualified 11th, although he is set to start two places higher due to a penalty for Carlos Sainz and a likely pitlane start for Magnussen.

Asked post-qualifying if the running the medium in Q2 had been too big a risk, Verstappen said: “Well, afterwards it's easy to say that - but at the time it seemed quite logical.

“I just didn't have the grip I wanted, but then also I had traffic in the hairpin, otherwise we would've made it. Had to go on the softs, and it's just very unfortunate to get the red flag. I think it's just very unlucky.”

Verstappen felt that without traffic his lap would've been good enough to make Q3, but admitted “it would've been anyway really close, so I think to be sure we would've gone out anyway on the soft tyre”.

And while starting the race on the medium was the preferred option, Verstappen conceded he would rather be higher up the grid, even if that meant running a less-optimal compound.

“The thing is it would be great if you had the medium starting P5 or P4. Starting P10, with the medium - it's good because the cars ahead of you, most of them are on the soft, but you lose a lot of terrain to the top three.

“So... it's not ideal. I would rather start P5 with the soft than P10 with the medium.”

Verstappen's teammate Pierre Gasly was four tenths down on the Dutchman in Q1, but then advanced to Q3 with minimal fuss as he used the soft tyre straight away in the second segment.

“After Q1 we saw it was not that easy, for us especially, taking the risk,” Gasly explained. “In a way we knew that, what happened with Max, we could've been in the same position, and we thought it was worth just focusing on ourselves, focusing on the car with the C5 [tyre] and making sure that we go to Q3.

“In the end we did only one run but with what happened was clearly the right decision.”

Gasly put the car fifth on the grid, and felt he could be “satisfied” with the outcome.

“We were slightly more than a tenth from P3 and [that] could've been achievable, in my opinion, but I think overall P5 is decent.

“I think on my side it's mainly about how I feel in the car, and I just feel like it's better and better. Still not perfect but I think it's going in the right direction.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, acknowledged Red Bull lacked the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes, but felt he would've had a shot at third place in the final segment “because of all the mistakes from the cars around”.

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images

shares
comments
Hamilton hopes pole a "turning point" for Ferrari

Previous article

Hamilton hopes pole a "turning point" for Ferrari

Next article

Magnussen set for pitlane start after qualifying shunt

Magnussen set for pitlane start after qualifying shunt
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021