Verstappen: Q2 power issue "ruined" Imola F1 qualifying rhythm

Max Verstappen felt a suspected spark plug failure on his Red Bull Formula 1 car “ruined” his qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday.

Listen to this article

Verstappen reported a loss of power on his Red Bull car during his first run on the medium tyres in Q2, forcing him to return to the pits for repairs.

Red Bull reported that it was a suspected spark plug failure that had caused the loss of power, but the mechanics were able to complete the repairs in time to get Verstappen back out before the end of the session.

Verstappen made it through to Q3 on the medium tyres, but struggled to match the Mercedes drivers for pace in the final stage of qualifying, finishing half a second off polesitter Valtteri Bottas’s lap time in third place.

Verstappen felt the loss of running in Q2 led to his struggles in Q3 as he lacked rhythm in the final stages of qualifying.

“I don’t know exactly what it was,” Verstappen said of the issue.

“The bodywork had to go off, and the mechanics did a very good job to fix my car. But it basically ruined a bit my qualifying, because you have to go out on the medium, and try to nail the lap.

“We managed to get through on that, but the reference was a bit off. The first lap then in Q3, the tyres were too cold because I was in the middle of the train. I never really got into a nice rhythm where you know I’ve got a bit of time left there, I can push a bit harder. It was a bit messy.

“Even in Q3, the last lap, I was like well, I think we could have done quite a bit better here if we’d just had a smoother qualifying. But if you have that in Q2, and then you have to qualify on a different tyre as well midway through, it’s not great.

“I didn't expect of course to beat [Mercedes] in qualifying, but I wanted to be a bit closer and make it a bit more exciting.

“Today it was just very tricky, and I never really found that rhythm throughout qualifying where you know you can put a new tyre set on and know where to find lap time.

“A bit of a shame, but still P3, so back in my seat.”

Read Also:

Verstappen was initially told to keep going when he reported the loss of power, but dived into the pits at the end of an attempted push lap so the issue could be fixed.

“I had power, then not, then it kicked in again, then not,” Verstappen explained.

“They told me keep going but I said guys, I’m losing quite a bit of lap time here on the straight.

“At one point I aborted because it didn’t make sense to continue. We’ll have a more detailed look what exactly went wrong. It’s not so lovely, but luckily we’re still here.”

Verstappen was hopeful that Red Bull’s race pace would give him a chance to challenge Mercedes, but feared it would be difficult to overtake due to the narrow nature of the track at Imola.

“The long run was alright, so hopefully it will be a bit similar tomorrow,” Verstappen said. “Let’s hope that top-speed wise, we are in a good position tomorrow.

“I don’t think it’s going to be very easy to pass anyway, but we’ll see what we can do.”

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas "had the shakes" after Imola pole lap
Previous article

Bottas "had the shakes" after Imola pole lap

Next article

Hamilton blames "piss poor lap" for missing pole

Hamilton blames "piss poor lap" for missing pole
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022