Saturday, March 2, 2024

Max Verstappen: “I’m very happy for McLaren”

Qualifying for the British Grand Prix brought a mix of emotions for Oracle Red Bull Racing. Despite challenging conditions, Max Verstappen once again took pole position, but his first in a traditional qualifying session at the British Grand Prix.

In a remarkable feat, he successfully defended against the McLaren F1 Team duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, claiming his fifth consecutive pole and seventh of the season. Verstappen had an incident in the pit lane, which saw him struggle to turn, which meant he hit the wall and damaged his front wing, but apart from that the Dutchman had a consistent qualifying, which was important considering the conditions on track.

“It was quite a crazy qualifying, very hectic and slippery in some places. I had a little ‘inchident’ in the pit lane, I understeered as I turned and the car just went straight – I think there was quite a bit of damage.”

Verstappen said he was happy for McLaren on their front-row start, as well as predicting that Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

That aside, very happy. Equally, I’m very happy for McLaren, you could see how excited everyone was in that garage, they’ve worked so hard, it’s also great for the British fans too. I’m expecting the Ferraris and Mercedes to be more competitive during the race. As for us, we know that we have a good race car and I’m already looking forward to it. I don’t mind if it’s wet tomorrow, in FP3 we were very fast in the wet so I don’t think we need to worry.”

Sergio Pérez: “Today was quite disappointing”

Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

However, the same session dealt a blow to Sergio Pérez, who encountered difficulties and failed to advance beyond Q1. This marked the third time this season that Perez faced elimination in Q1, as he also missed out on Q3 for the fifth consecutive race.

A big factor in Pérez’s exit was that he was the first driver to cross the line and with track evolution playing a big part, he found himself falling down the order and knocked out in the first part of qualifying.

“Today was quite disappointing. The red flag lasted a lot longer than we initially thought it would so we lost some heat on the tyres and couldn’t get enough temperature back into them. We also struggled with the weather. The changing conditions made things a lot trickier, so we ended up having a poor qualifying.”

Pérez finds himself trailing Verstappen by a significant 81 points in the drivers’ standings, and the Mexican driver acknowledged the challenging situation ahead, knowing that he must once again focus on minimizing the damage from his 16th starting position on the grid.

“We had a good session yesterday so, for now, we need to look forward to tomorrow and just aim to get any many points as possible. It’s going to be difficult to come through the field but we will try our very best.”

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