Balance issue exaggerated gap to Mercedes - Verstappen

Max Verstappen says balance issues with his Red Bull meant the gap to Mercedes in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was bigger than it should be.

Balance issue exaggerated gap to Mercedes - Verstappen

The Dutchman has spent the weekend trying to get the best out of a new wing philosophy that his team has brought to the Red Bull Ring, and he admitted that he still had not got a perfect set-up for qualifying.

After ending up 0.538 seconds adrift of pole position man Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen reckoned that his car had potential to do better, although he was sceptical about being able to beat the dominant Mercedes.

"I wasn't entirely happy with the balance, like some corners were good and some were not," he said. "So then, you know, the gap can be a bit bigger. But still I think half a second is still quite a decent gap.

"But what do you say about it? You know we just need to work harder and try to close up."

While Verstappen said his home fans may be alarmed by how far behind Mercedes he has ended up after promising form in pre-season testing, he still thinks there is promise in the Red Bull package.

"Of course it's not what we want," he said about the half second difference. "But anyway I was not very happy with the overall balance we had in the car.

"As soon as we can sort that a bit better, then maybe it looks already a bit nicer. I don't say that we would have beaten them, but let's see.

"I mean, it's eight races, and we have another weekend here anyway. So we'll just take this on board, learn a lot throughout this weekend, and hopefully we can do better next week.

"I mean there are no dramas yet. Maybe in Holland there is but I don't care. I just focus on myself and the team."

Strategy bid

Despite lacking the pace to beat Mercedes, Verstappen thinks there is still a chance to make life difficult for his rivals in the race having opted for a different starting tyre strategy.

He scraped through Q2 on the medium, and that could help him with temperatures expected to be much warmer for Sunday's race.

"It's going to be interesting," he explained. "It's going to quite a bit warmer tomorrow, so I hope that's going to play in our advantage.

"Clearly today Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately, Let's see how we can do tomorrow.

"Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying, so I expect we are a little bit better in the race. I'm the only one on a different tyre in the top 10, so I'm just looking forward to it. We have nothing to lose, so I'll try to make it as difficult as possible for them."

shares
comments
Hamilton under investigation over yellow flag infraction

Previous article

Hamilton under investigation over yellow flag infraction

Next article

Hamilton escapes penalty, retains front-row slot

Hamilton escapes penalty, retains front-row slot
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021