Max Verstappen claimed he did not have a look at Lewis Hamilton’s rear wing in parc ferme after getting out of his car post-qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix. The Dutchman explained that the rear-wing element that they were searching for could not be seen just by looking at the wing.
On being asked if he had taken a peek at Lewis Hamilton’s wing, Verstappen said:
“It is a big fine if you do. No. You won’t see it just by looking. I think its fine for this weekend.”
The Dutchman was beaten to pole by Lewis Hamilton at the Losail International Circuit by a margin that has to be concerning for the Red Bull F1 camp. However, Verstappen was unable to figure out where his car lacked pace at the Gulf circuit.
Describing his qualifying session and the gap to Lewis Hamilton, the Red Bull F1 driver said:
“The last few races, qualifying has been a bit more of a struggle for us. So we definitely of course need to understand and try to be better, like we always try to be. But my last lap…I thought I had a really good lap, and then I heard the difference and I was a bit like, ‘Well, I didn’t even need to risk it then, if it’s such a big gap.’”
Starting second on the grid, the championship leader has proven himself capable of beating Lewis Hamilton into the first corner numerous times in the past. While the Milton Keynes outfit have adequate race pace at this circuit, the pitstop strategy coming into play could also end up favoring Verstappen in the race.
Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen by half a second to clinch Qatar GP pole
According to Verstappen, they were unable to identify the reason why they were lacking in pace around the Losail International Circuit. However, after the session, Lewis Hamilton said he was able to nail the lap due to the pace of his car and no traffic on his final attempt.
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Unlike Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen had to confront traffic on his final lap. He also had to back off in the final two sectors due to the double yellow flags brought out by Pierre Gasly’s puncture. That spoiled his and eight other drivers’ final Q3 attempts.