Japanese GP: Qualifying team notes – Red Bull

Max Verstappen: “Today as a team we made no mistakes, on or off the track. We managed to optimise the set-up and conditions in Q3 which resulted in a really good grid position to start from tomorrow. It was crucial that we swapped the intermediates to slicks at the beginning of Q3, this allowed us to get out ahead of Ferrari and set a strong lap time. I was a lot more satisfied with my feeling and performance in the car compared to yesterday. The hard work the guys put in overnight showed and meant I could have a good qualifying session. I think the Mercedes will be too quick for us to challenge come the race, but with a good start who knows. Sebastian will be looking to come through the pack quickly so I may have some defending to do at some point, I will of course do my best to hang onto my position. We need to concentrate on doing the best possible strategy from our side and then hopefully finish on the podium.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “As soon as I came through the last chicane to start my fast lap I immediately felt that something was wrong. I just didn’t have full power and I could hear the turbo or something wasn’t healthy. I came to the pits and we tried to fix it but I think it’s something terminal. Then it started raining, I think if we had got out again and it was raining and I couldn’t get a lap in, then it could have been even more painful. I just can’t catch a break at the moment and I’m pretty fed up with it. I’m doing everything I can and applying myself the best way that I know how to, but it’s not working so hopefully it turns around soon. It makes me angry because if it was on me and I was slacking off then it would be different, but I still want to do the best I can for Red Bull until the end of the year and every race is important.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “The positive from today is to qualify third with Max for the race tomorrow and he once again put in a fantastic performance in tricky conditions. The rain arrived at the start of Q3 and it was all about getting a good first lap, which Max did a great job of. As the rain intensified, nobody could improve which meant Max’s lap was safe. For Daniel, it was extremely frustrating to lose him at the beginning of Q2 due to a throttle actuator issue. We are extremely keen for him to finish his final five races with Red Bull in a positive manner and unfortunately when issues like this happen which are beyond our control it’s immensely frustrating for Daniel and the entire Team.”