Max after P2 in Friday qualifying: 'We have to look at ourselves'

Published on 16 July 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen will start Formula 1’s first sprint qualifying on Saturday from P2 on the grid. The Dutchman was quick through the Friday qualifying session but had to yield top spot to Lewis Hamilton. The latter’s Mercedes’ teammate, Valtteri Bottas, completed the top three.

“We have to look at ourselves. The car was not bad, but we had a lot of understeer, so I couldn’t really attack the corners”, said Max. “I was waiting for the front to grip. It was a bit strange because I don’t think it was front wing or set-up related. It is what it is, but we’re still close.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s qualifying race, the Red Bull Racing driver said: “It’s a bit strange. We qualify, go flat out, but this doesn’t really have a pole position vibe. We’ll see tomorrow. I think we have a quick car for the race, but we need to address the issues from today. I’m sure we can have a strong race.”

In Q1, Max starts where he left of in practice by being on the pace from the moment he hits the track. His first run grants him P1, a position he maintains for the remainder of the first segment.

After his first effort, Max decides to stay in the garage and watch the remaining minutes of Q1 unfold from his car. From his cockpit, he sees Tsnudo, Raikkonen, Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin strand in the first part of qualifying.

In Q2, both Mercedes and Max comfortably progress through. Further back, it is the usual midfield battle with George Russell springing the biggest surprise by managing the seventh fastest time. In the end, Gasly, Ocon, Giovinazzi and Stroll fall short of the mark and exit qualifying in the second part.

Both Mercedes and Max opt for two flying laps in Q3. The first round goes to Hamilton, who climbs to the top of the leader boards after clocking purple sectors in one and three, countering Max’ purple in sector two.

Local hero George Russell gets a loud roar from the British crowd after his sole flying lap in Q3 grants him an impressive seventh place.

In the closing minutes, all eyes are on Max and Lewis. The latter is the first to start his final run. After two purple sectors, the world champion looks set to improve his lap time, but a scrappy final two corners mean he does not better his earlier effort. Meanwhile, Max improves on his own lap but, in the end, he falls less than a tenth short as Hamilton takes P1 on the starting grid for tomorrow’s sprint qualifying.

Contest British GP: win a signed Max Verstappen Orange Driver Cap 2021!


Results qualifying Great Britain:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:26.7861:26.0231:26.134
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:26.7511:26.3151:26.209
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:27.4871:26.7641:26.328
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:27.0511:26.9191:26.828
5Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:27.1211:27.0731:26.844
6Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:27.4441:27.2201:26.897
7Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:27.3231:27.1251:26.899
8George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:27.6711:27.0801:26.971
9Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:27.3371:26.8481:27.007
10Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:27.4931:27.1031:27.179
11Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:27.5801:27.245
12Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:27.6001:27.273
13Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:27.4151:27.340
14Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:27.5951:27.617
15Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:28.0171:27.665
16Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:28.043
17Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:28.062
18Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:28.254
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:28.738
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:29.051