Max Verstappen was left dissatisfied by his Q3 run despite taking his third pole position in a row at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was comfortably quickest throughout Saturday and was a heavy favorite for pole, which he duly delivered with his first run in Q3. However, after failing to improve on his final attempt and seeing Lando Norris get within 0.05s of pole, Verstappen was less than satisfied at the way the session panned out.
“I think Q3 was pretty bad,” Verstappen said. “I’m of course happy to be first but not the way we got it, so something to look into. But of course, to be twice on pole here is very good. Hopefully we can finish it off tomorrow.
“Q1 and Q2 was very good I think — it was all going very smooth and the laps were nice. Just Q3 the first lap I locked up in Turn 3, so that wasn’t amazing, and the second run I was the first car out so I just lost time on the straights. So I couldn’t improve my lap time, even with a more normal Turn 3. It’s still good enough for first but I would have just liked to have a better Q3.
“I went out and then I realized I was the first so you just get on with it. But I didn’t expect to lose so much time on the straights. So that’s what we will know for next time. Better to stay in the box than do that.”
Although he had reservations about the Red Bull approach in qualifying, Verstappen is confident in the team’s potential for the race with Sergio Perez starting ahead of both Mercedes drivers in third place.
“It’s of course what we like, to have both cars in the front. So we look forward now to try have a good race race and try to score a lot of points for the team and hopefully it works out well. We have softer compounds than last weekend, so of course it will be a bit more difficult to manage those but it’s the same for everyone.”