Max Verstappen says Red Bull’s recent form is down to the team learning from its mistakes after securing pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The past three races have seen Verstappen set the fastest time in qualifying twice — although he lost pole position due to a grid penalty in Mexico — and finish within 0.1s of pole in Austin. After securing what is officially his second pole position at Interlagos, Verstappen is encouraged by the improvements made on a number of fronts but says further gains are needed.
“I was not the fastest in the last sector, but we were the fastest in the second sector, where the most corners are,” Verstappen said. “Throughout the whole year — I think both from the chassis side and the engine side — we made good gains, and we just continue to work like that and experiment for next year. Very happy, of course, with the progress throughout the season.
“We have been continuously improving throughout the season. Of course some tracks were a bit better for us than others. Already last year I think here we were quite good, but I think this year we made a step forward.
“We learned from our mistakes in some recent races, we came back stronger and everything is working well. Of course very happy with three poles, but at the end of the day, there are more races than that and you want more pole positions.”
Despite pulling clear of the field on his final run in Q3, Verstappen says it didn’t feel like he completely maximized his car’s potential on Saturday.
“Today we changed the car a bit compared to yesterday, and it seemed to work really well, and especially in qualifying it really came alive. I had really good balance; already in Q2 it felt really good. And then in Q3, I think also the track got a bit warmer, it was a bit more tricky to get the lap time out of it.
“The last lap was pretty decent. It was all right. There’s always things you can do better, but it was good enough.
“The car already yesterday was not bad. I think today it improved, so normally it should also be better in the race. We have to find out.”