Max Verstappen labelled his Mexican Grand Prix qualifying as “crap” before going on to explain the problems he felt held him back, having missed out on an opportunity to take his maiden Formula 1 pole position.
Verstappen topped all three practice sessions at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and held provisional pole after the first Q3 runs.
But Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo surged from fourth to first, edging Verstappen by just 0.026s, while the Dutchman was unable to improve on his final Q3 push lap.
Verstappen quipped immediately post-session that “the whole qualifying was crap, again the same problems as FP2, engine braking not like I wanted, just rear locking the car.
“We tried to make the best of it, thought it was going to be enough with the problems we have, it’s still good to be second.”
Expanding on the problems in the press conference, Verstappen commented: “Somehow the behaviour [of the car] was not correct.
“So we couldn't do anything throughout qualifying, so I just had to lock a lot of tools, go forward on the brake balance to try and stabilise the whole car.
“It’s not how you want to do qualifying, normally you go more aggressive and be more aggressive on all the tools. That’s it.”
Verstappen added that he was “driving around the issues” throughout the session.
“I was still surprised that I was first in Q3, because I didn’t feel good at all,” he said.
“Like I said before, it’s really difficult to anticipate those things. I was driving around the issues – but in qualifying, that’s not what you want.”
Verstappen started from second place at last year’s Mexican Grand Prix – and went on to triumph after taking the lead on the opening lap.