Max Verstappen has admitted that, in terms of race pace Red Bull will not able to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari at its home Grand Prix in Austria, after the Dutch man qualified in sixth in the grid.
The young speedy suffered a chaotic Q3 session at the Red Bull Ring, making mistakes on each of his run, the final error spitting him through the gravel at Turn 8.
“I tried a lot of different lines at turn three and all the time I was losing the rear of the car,” he said.
“On my final run I was gaining time but I didn’t get DRS down the straight as [Romain] Grosjean was stopped on track.
“You lose easily two and a half tenths on that straight if you don’t have DRS. I tried to get a little more out of the next corners but I picked up the throttle maybe a little too early at Turn 7 and lost the rear.
“Tomorrow I don’t think we are quite there in terms of race speed to fight with Mercedes and Ferrari, but as we have seen a lot can happen in the race so anything is possible.”
Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo reckons the prospect of rain and Hamilton’s anticipated recovery will add extra spice to the 71-lap Grand Prix.
“Of course it would have been nice to finish that last lap but in the end I’m happy with the top five and we’ll move up to fourth because of Lewis’ penalty,” Ricciardo said, referring to the yellow flags at the end of Q3.
“All in all it was a pretty good session and I’m relatively happy. I believe there is a bit of rain coming tomorrow at noon so it should be interesting and not that straight forward. Lewis will try to come up the ranks as well so it will be exciting.”