Max Verstappen believes he could have bettered his sixth place on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix after suffering from brake problems throughout Saturday.
The Dutch teenager managed to wrestle his Toro Rosso to sixth as rain hit the Sepang circuit, which he was thankful for as he believes the weather helped mask his braking issue.
“I was really happy that it started to rain because I was struggling a lot with the brakes today; we still have to find the issue as I was losing a lot in every high-braking zone,” he explained.
“In Holland it rains a lot so I’m used to driving in the rain. I’m very confident driving in the rain and I’m always very confident in the rain.
“So I was really happy it started to rain in Q2 because then I had a chance in Q3 in the wet, which is what I like. I was confident it chould have been a good qualifying [after it rained].”
However the 17-year-old reckons he could have been higher had the car not been suffering the brake problem – which Toro Rosso have confirmed will be investigated overnight.
“My lap was quite good – I was still struggling with the brakes in the high-braking zones, which cost me P5 for sure. But P6, for my second qualifying, I think I can’t complain.”
Most impressively is the fact Verstappen got the job done with his first proper wet laps in a Formula One car, though he thinks this is one area where he excels.