26 AUGUST 2017
BELGIAN GP – QUALIFYING
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 5th, 1:43.380 (Practice 3 – P4 1:45.034)
“I was really happy with my lap in Q3, it couldn’t have been better to be honest as I feel I put everything together and got the best performance out of the car possible. I think the lap felt better than P5, last year I was P2 and I think it felt just as good this year, but I’m happy with the result anyway and would say it was a perfect qualifying. I am positively surprised we are so close to Ferrari, Lewis was way ahead but in the race I think we can be closer so perhaps a good result is possible. Our strength is in sector 2 so we will work even harder there to improve a bit but in general the balance of the car was great and that allowed me to execute a very good Qualifying session. Although the car felt good today I still think we need a bit of luck to do something special tomorrow. For now it looks like it will be a dry race so let’s hope that changes overnight and I think then we can fight properly. On my fast laps I was concentrating too much but on my in lap I could see the orange crowd and smoke from all the fans, this is amazing to see. As I left the pit lane there was a guy on the fence in all orange waving me on, it’s awesome.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 6th 1:43.863 (Practice 3 – P6 1:45.286)
“We were a bit off in Q1 but I knew there was more time and then in Q2 we got closer to the pace that we needed. Unfortunately in Q3, when you really start to get everything out of it, we couldn’t get much more. I felt like if I pushed more in one part of the track it killed me in another part so I didn’t really feel we had the car to complete one lap at 100%. I just felt a little bit limited with the balance. But I’m going to be optimistic and say, if that’s the case maybe that means we have got a more consistent car for the race. If we’re not getting the peak out of the tyre maybe we can sustain a relatively good pace for longer than the others, so that’s what I’m betting on.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “I think fifth and sixth were unfortunately the predictable outcome of today’s Qualifying but both drivers delivered the maximum they could. Max in particular had a very strong last run, and in locking out the third row of the grid hopefully we can capitalise on any opportunities tomorrow. It should be an interesting race and there can always be a weather element here in Spa, you never know. With a huge amount of ‘home’ support and an enormous crowd that has turned out to support Max this weekend that’s hopefully worth a few tenths too.”
Luck of the Draw
Everyone likes to say there’s no such thing as luck in F1 and that outcomes are the result of deep research, intense analysis and careful strategising. As our new quiz reveals that’s a complete load of old rubbish. We present our team personnel with a set of 50 questions, the order of which shifts with each race, they choose 10 and have to answer them, no matter what. Tough, easy, personal and just plain weird, what they get is down to the luck of the draw. This race’s lucky dipper is Engineer, Car Engineering, Richard Wolverson.
1. Who was the last person to call you on your phone?
It would have been ‘Pedals’ (Paul Monaghan). It would have been about whatever the latest issue going on in the garage was, or whether I wanted a cup of something!
2. What’s been your best race weekend so far?
It depends on what year it was really. When we had the V8s we were winning a lot and it was all good. The V6 era has been… more challenging! But when we won in Canada in 2014 with Daniel, it was great. We had such a difficult pre-season and that win was sweet as a result. Any win in the latest era is a great feeling as it’s that hard to win. It’s like Malaysia last year. There was a real battle to win there, it was hard fought and a proper victory. All of them are good but some are sweeter than others.
3. Are you a good or bad loser?
Bad. I don’t like losing at many things to be honest. I think to do this you have to be very competitive and not like losing. I wouldn’t say I throw a tantrum but I don’t like it. Even if one car wins but the other is a DNF, that is frustrating. It sort of ruins it, no matter what the other car has done. It’s bittersweet.
4. What sort of house do you live in?
Probably not the most appropriate one for my lifestyle as it turns out! I live on my own in a cottage in a village and it has a bit of land, and turns out it is a lot more high maintenance than I envisaged when I bought it! So I now have some sheep to help cut the grass. I like it though, it’s the complete opposite of when we’re on the road, where it’s manic and all cities.
5. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
When I was at school, aged about 15, I worked at a crisp factory [potato chips] for the summer and we used to have to pack bags of crisps in boxes. It was disgusting; you just stank of prawn cocktail crisps forever.
6. Have you ever seen a ghost?
No. However, there is a wood at the bottom of the land attached to my house and I never used to dare go in there, because it was just a bit scary. It was a bit Blair Witch Project. And then when I did go in for the first time there was a swing in there. Properly freaky.
7. If you could go back in time when and where would you go?
I’d might like to go back to the 1970s, London or New York even, more to experience the lifestyle that occurred in that time, I imagine it was a fun time. Formula One in the 1970s would have been interesting too, I imagine quite raw!
8. What was the last thing you bought?
It’s my goddaughter Martha’s birthday tomorrow and I was sitting at my desk and Rocky came over and asked ‘what are you doing!?”’ because I had some pink wellington boots covered in glitter on my screen. I was like: “They’re not for me!” Rocky just gave me that Rocky look. But honestly they’re pink Hunters for my goddaughter.
9. What three things couldn’t you do without on a race weekend?
Caffeine! My phone – mostly because I take a couple of hundred pictures every day of the car for work. And… my running shoes. I try to do some exercise every day. Even if we’re flat out I like to do a run or cycle or go to the gym or something, just to de-stress, because it does work. It’s good to get out on the track and clear your mind every day. You do get quite stressed out and wound up. Also, because there’s so much bloody food everywhere! I have no willpower when it comes to food.
10. Have you ever had a nickname?
Yeah, Wolverine. My surname is Wolverson but when you type it in the spellchecker changes it to Wolverine. People think I made it up but it’s spell-check. I think it’s more because I’m like Hugh Jackman, obviously.