Max Verstappen has defended Red Bull’s tyre call during qualifying for Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix, after he was eliminated in Q2.
Verstappen joined the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers in running the Medium tyre in a bid to make it through to Q3, to avoid needing to use the Softs for the first stint of the race.
But Verstappen’s lap on Mediums left him only 11th and he was forced to re-join the action on the red-banded rubber.
Kevin Magnussen’s heavy crash red-flagged the end of Q2 and prevented Verstappen from being able to improve his time, leaving the Red Bull driver out of the session.
Verstappen will nonetheless start from ninth on the grid owing to penalties for Magnussen and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
“Afterwards it's easy to say [it was the wrong move] but at the time it seemed quite logical,” he said.
“But I just didn't have the grip I wanted, but then also I had traffic in the hairpin, otherwise we would've made it.
“But, yeah, had to go on the Softs, and it's just very unfortunate to get the red flag. I think it's just very unlucky.”
Verstappen is nonetheless optimistic of a strong race recovery.
“We'll definitely get back up to P5 for sure,” he said.
“Also in a way it's good that [Valtteri] Bottas is like P6, and we're starting probably P10 or P9.
“It's not that bad but of course I want to compare against the guy in the lead, that for sure is going to be a lot harder.”