Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Verstappen fastest in first practice for Singapore GP

Singapore GP Practice Two Lewis Hamilton ahead of Max Verstappen | F1 News Disqualification rocks Dan Ricciardo in Singapore qualifying
Shannon Reynolds | 25 September, 2019, 15:44

Verstappen struggled to match Ferrari and Mercedes for pace in qualifying, citing a lack of grip after earning only fourth place.

"Not good enough", he said of his weekend.

He said: "Of course we always want to win but finishing on the podium and gaining one place on a track where you can't really overtake is positive".

Although Verstappen remained in the mix at the front throughout the race, he says he didn't have the auto to try and make an overtaking moves but was able to hold position courtesy of the slow pace being dictated by Charles Leclerc early on.

"I have a few ideas why it went wrong so we will analyze all of them and see if we can already be better in Sochi". From Austria onwards I would say it's our worst race in terms of performance where we expected to be really good.

"The layout (there) is not that incredible for us but you can clearly see if the auto is working through corners or not", he added.

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"Obviously, the final attempt should have been better, but the vehicle was quick and I was feeling good", said the 32-year-old whose future at Ferrari is the subject of much speculation despite having a contract that runs until the end of 2020. Verstappen also said he had his work cut out on the final laps as Hamilton's Mercedes loomed in his wing mirrors.

"We brought some new bits that worked properly.then we had a very tough Friday, yesterday was definitely not my day, I didn't feel comfortable in the car.but I worked hard and it paid off today". Charles was managing his tyres out front and the pace was pretty slow but that kept everyone really close and allowed me to get the undercut on Lewis.

"I think we pitted at the right time - undercut Lewis, that was very positive - and from there onwards it was just about staying alert with the safety vehicle restarts as well".

"We managed everything quite well and for us after the difficulties we had in qualifying it was still good to be on the podium".

There were mixed fortunes for Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso.

"We discussed the possibility of the undercut in the strategy meeting this morning and I wanted to take the risk but then Ferrari chose to box (pit), so we did the opposite and I stayed out". When he pushed I pushed and when he saved his tyres I saved mine so I felt like I was just going backwards and forwards and it nearly felt like he backed me up so Lewis could get ahead.

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