Max Verstappen admits he was concerned about Red Bull’s qualifying hopes at the Austrian Grand Prix and calls second on the grid an amazing result.
Red Bull struggled for pace compared to Mercedes and Ferrari at the French Grand Prix last weekend, having to hold off McLaren in qualifying before finishing fourth in the race. At the Red Bull Ring, however, the car was much more competitive and Verstappen originally qualified third before a grid penalty for Lewis Hamilton promoted him to second alongside Charles Leclerc (pictured above, with Verstappen).
“I’m actually really happy at the moment,” Verstappen said. “For us, this is an amazing result on this track, which is not easy for us. I think also with the upgrades we brought here, the car seems to be working better.
“Just in general, I think our whole weekend, the performance has been a lot better. Before we came here I was actually not really looking forward to it, to qualifying, because I knew that it was going to be hard — but actually with the new updates we’ve got on the car, I think we gained a bit of performance and I was really happy with the car throughout qualifying. In the corners as well, we looked very competitive.
“We do know that we are lacking quite a bit of pace to Ferrari and even to Mercedes of course on the straights but knowing this is not a great track for us, it’s still a great result in qualifying.”
Expanding more on Red Bull’s upgrades, Verstappen says the new parts are providing more downforce, to go with Honda’s power unit upgrade that was delivered in France.
“I think the things we brought, they just gave me more grip in general. I didn’t really have big problems before with a lot of oversteer or a lot of understeer, just not a lot of overall grip. I think that seems to be improved. That’s very positive.”