Max’s problems became apparent almost as soon as Q1 started. The Dutchman’s opening lap was slow and he was quickly on the radio reporting that there was a power issue. He retreated to the garage for checks and was soon back on track for another effort.
Time was running out, however, and his first lap, set 30 seconds before the flag, was only good enough for P17 and he was told to try for another lap. Any possibility of improvement was eradicated moments later, though, when Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed heavily in the final corner just as the chequered flag came out.
Max, therefore, found himself eliminated in P19 ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
“Something to do with the coil, and that limited my qualifying – there was no power,” Verstappen told Autosport.
“I couldn’t use the power modes. I tried to do a lap, but I had no power so it makes no sense really.
“There was something misfiring in the engine. The guys will investigate this evening and I’m confident they can resolve it for the race.”
“A bit of rain tomorrow will definitely help us but I think even in the wet it will be tough to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes. ” Max added.
“We need to concentrate on what we have and do the best we can. I will go home tonight, get some good rest and sleep, then come to the track ready to attack on what will hopefully be a wet track. If it is dry tomorrow you lose too much time starting from where I am on the grid. We will see, some good overtakes and exciting racing is what I’m hoping for.”
Max’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo went on to qualify fifth in the other Red Bull, admitting that he extracted the maximum from his Renault-powered RB13, which finished 1.3s down on pole position.