Verstappen blames brakes issues for lost pole

Having topped the timesheets in every practice session, Max Verstappen appeared odds-on to take pole position at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez today, and thereby become the youngest pole-sitter in the history of the sport.

However, a mega-lap from teammate Daniel Ricciardo, coupled with his own brake issues meant the youngster could only manage second on the grid.

“The whole qualifying was crap,” said the Red Bull driver. “It was just not good, I was struggling the whole qualifying with the same problems I had in FP2, where I had a lot of rear locking on the downshifting and when I come off-throttle.

“The behaviour was not correct,” he continued, “we couldn’t do anything in qualifying so I had to go forward on the brake balance to try to stabilise the whole car. It’s not how you want to do qualifying, normally you go more aggressive with all the tools.”

Asked if the issue meant he felt pole was always in doubt, he replied: “Let’s say I was surprised I was first in Q3, because I didn’t feel good at all. It’s really difficult to anticipate those things. I was driving around the issues and in qualifying that’s not what you want.”

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