Max Verstappen described the balance of his Red Bull RB19 as “all over the shop” after missing out on pole position at Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Verstappen entered the weekend on a run of five successive pole positions while Red Bull had only been beaten once in qualifying, in Azerbaijan, where Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed top spot.
Verstappen was fastest after the first Q3 runs at the Hungaroring but was overhauled by Lewis Hamilton through the final runs and wound up second.
“It’s been all over the shop, we didn’t put it together set-up wise,” said Verstappen of the RB19.
“I’ve been struggling all weekend to find the right balance, it’s been up and down, difficult in Q1, Q2, just [to] feel confident to really attack corners.
“I thought the first run in Q3 was quite good but in the second run [there was] no feeling, lose the rear, lose the front.
“It was still second but I think we should be ahead with the car we have normally but so far this weekend we haven’t been on it.”
Verstappen, who dismissed any suggestions the issues were related to Red Bull’s upgrade package, was reassured that he still has a front-row starting spot for Sunday’s race.
He retorted that “it doesn’t matter where you are, if it doesn’t feel good it doesn’t feel good.
“The whole weekend we’ve been struggling with balance, understeer, oversteer, never a good window.
“Every time I go to the apex it was just not gripping up. I tried to correct a few things in Q3, my first lap wasn’t too bad, still felt like driving on ice with the front axle, but second lap the first sector was off, I risked more in sector two which paid off, but in the last sector I lost the front.”