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2018 F1

Verstappen reveals struggling with rear locking in Mexican GP qualifying

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Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen reveals that an enduring problem with his Red Bull machine rear locking on the downshifting cost the opportunity of becoming the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history and was clearly disappointed in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Australian produced a stunning riposte in one minute and 14.759 seconds, beating Verstappen by 0.026, as Red Bull swept the front row of the grid. It is Ricciardo’s third career pole and the team’s first lockout since the United States Grand Prix in 2013.

“It was just not good,” he said. “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, 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.”

When the source asked by Motorsport.com if he felt his pole position was vulnerable after the first runs because of his problems, Verstappen said: “Let’s say it like this: I was surprised I was [provisionally] first in Q3, because I didn’t feel good at all.

“It’s just really difficult to anticipate those things. I was driving around the issues and in qualifying that’s not what you want.”

But Ricciardo, who edged out the Dutchman by just 0.026 seconds, was ecstatic.

“I knew it was in there somewhere,” he said moments after roaring over the radio in delight.

“I knew putting the lap together would be crucial as always and Max showed the pace was in the car all weekend.”

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