Verstappen content in P2 as Perez rues ‘total disaster’ in Canada

Max Verstappen feels he was unable to match Mercedes’ pace if it had shown its full potential and was satisfied with second on the grid at the Canadian Grand Prix despite setting an identical lap time to George Russell.

Russell’s lap of 1m12.000s was set on his first run in Q3 and Verstappen equalled it on his final attempt, with the first to post a time being classified ahead. Russell then failed to improve on his last lap having been in the 1m11s earlier in the session, so Verstappen was satisfied to secure a place on the front row.

“In general, I think it wasn’t a bad qualifying,” Verstappen said. “I think what was mentioned before, probably Q3 was the weakest of the sessions for Mercedes.


“Being on the exact same lap time, yeah, it’s great, but in hindsight, I think when you look at their pure pace, I’ll take second, because after Q2 I saw their lap times. I was like, ‘There is no way that I can do something like that.’

“Then there was a little bit of rain in between, like a few spits here and there. I think, overall, just the weekend was again a bit messy from our side, just too many little issues. From there onward, we tried to find the best possible balance with the car. I think we did get a decent balance in qualifying. I was quite happy with it, but we need to be able to just have cleaner weekends without issues. I think that will help a bit as well.”

Verstappen says the result compared to Monaco is more a reflection of the differences in the two tracks rather than a clear step forward from Red Bull when it comes to its curb-riding issues.

“We’re still struggling with the same things, but the track layout helps compared to Monaco, where Monaco has a lot more low-speed, so it’s really important to have good ride, mechanical grip,” he said. “Here there’s more aero involved. Of course, there are a few places still where you need to ride curbs or you have bumpy places, but we know those limitations, so we need to just work on that. That’s why I think, in general, to be P2 here is alright.”

While the championship leader will start on the front row, teammate Sergio Perez lines up in P16 for the second consecutive race, and says he could not get his rear tires working in the relatively cool conditions.

“The main thing really was to switch on the rear axle for me,” Perez told Sky Sports. “It was quite tricky and I ended up paying the price with it because basically I just had no grip, I was sliding too much around it, and basically our qualifying was a total disaster.

“I think it was more a tire thing than the curb thing. I think in these conditions, how we were not able to switch on the rear axle, I couldn’t lean on it at all and I just didn’t have any confidence at the time to push it, so it was a total disaster unfortunately.”

Story originally appeared on Racer