Max Verstappen revealed he lost time during qualifying due to turbo lag that hampered his chances of securing pole position at the British Grand Prix.
Red Bull won its first race in partnership with Honda last time out in Austria, and has enjoyed a largely competitive weekend at Silverstone despite much cooler conditions and different track characteristics. In qualifying, Verstappen finished fourth but was less than 0.2s away from polesitter Valtteri Bottas, and he says there was more time available but for a power unit issue.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect in qualifying,” Verstappen said. “My Friday and also this morning was not good, lacking stability. We managed to find the stability from the car and it was all right.
“I kept having turbo lag coming out of the low-speed corners, I had an issue with not getting the power I wanted to, so it didn’t pick up the throttle like I wanted, so we definitely lost a bit of lap time with that. But still to be that close to pole is good.
“I’ve had it (turbo lag) before. It’s just fine-tuning but we couldn’t fine-tune it today somehow … It’s where the boost is kicking in. Normally we can (tune it) but somehow today we couldn’t. So all the time when you go on the power, some of the corners are low RPM, there’s just a lag. You go on throttle and nothing is happening and then you feel it kicking in. You lose performance, especially here. After the corners here there are long straights so you continuously lose.”
Admitting the end result was “bittersweet” Verstappen says the performance at Silverstone underlines the progress made by Red Bull in Austria, and is eyeing a battle with both Mercedes and Ferrari on Sunday as both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel start on soft tires compared to mediums.
“At the moment it’s difficult to tell (what’s best). I honestly didn’t understand why they (Ferrari) did it but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.
“I don’t know. I think we are all very close and it’s not like they are disappearing in the distance or anything.”