MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 3rd, 1:30.541 (Practice 3 – Position: 6th, 1:32,579)
“Third in Qualifying is a pretty good birthday present today. The whole weekend I was not fully happy with the car and in the last practice session I didn’t have the perfect balance, but in Qualifying we managed to pull it together and the car was pretty good. To be four or five tenths off pole position on this track and knowing they can turn up their engines in Qualifying means we are doing a good job. I think on the long runs we are a bit more competitive so I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow. So far on Saturdays I’ve been a happy guy and on Sundays that has changed. Let’s hope it is different tomorrow and I’m sure we can have a good race. I’m also hoping for no sandwiches!”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:30.595 (Practice 3 – Position 3rd, 1:32.091)
“I did all I could today and I think we both got the most out of the car. We’re half a second from Lewis around here so I think we can be pretty happy with that. It gives us a chance in the race tomorrow even if it’s dry. I would have loved to be on third today, but that half a tenth was actually Max’s birthday gift from me and I wanted to start on fourth really, because that’s where I started last year and I won. This is obviously all planned in my mind. I did a bit of a lift of the throttle just before the finish line, so yeah it’s of course all calculated. I think Seb is probably going to do a rain dance tonight so I might join him, hold hands and light some candles. But honestly, some rain would be interesting for the race, so we can dance tonight, as long as we don’t dance tomorrow. If he gets near me then, we haven’t had a good enough race.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A very positive Qualifying for us today. To have locked out the second row and to be within half a second of pole at this circuit represents a job very well done. With Max and Daniel in P3 and P4 respectively on tomorrow’s grid, and on the evidence of the weekend so far, we would hope to be competitive and able to have a say in how the race plays out. The conditions are predicted to be very different to today with some rain around, certainly for the start of the race, so it could be an interesting start and with Sebastian starting from the back, it is all set up for a compelling final grand prix around Sepang.”
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 our Hospitality Manager Assistant, Vanda Borsos.
1. What’s your ideal holiday destination?
At the moment it would be South America. I’ve already done some places in Asia and South Africa and if you’re travelling around the world, as we do, you feel like you want to go everywhere. Where in particular? It think Chile, Argentina – the Patagonian region. Some people say it’s a bit boring, other say it’s super exciting, but I’d really love to go. I think it will be the end of next year though.
2. Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
My car. I’m still young. It’s Mini Cabrio. I love it. It’s getting a bit old, so I need to change it soon, but at the moment I’m buying an apartment so…
3. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had to do?
I remember this so clearly. It was at an Indian restaurant. It was my very first attempt to get a job after high school and before I went to college. I was a waitress and it was really not my thing. I didn’t really have an idea of hospitality, as I hadn’t yet studied it, so I had zero experience. But the circumstances weren’t great – the kitchen was pretty dirty. It wasn’t much fun. I lasted two weeks. After that I went to a really fancy restaurant in Budapest as a seating hostess. That was for half a year and then I started with Red Bull Hungary.
4. What trait in other people annoys you?
For me it’s really difficult to handle if someone doesn’t have a sense of humour. I also really don’t like people who are not punctual. Most of my friends are not that punctual and it really kills me! I think I learned to be always on time in Formula One. But I think above all I really can’t handle people with no sense of humour. Sometimes it can be difficult in Formula One because it can be a bit serious sometimes, but you just have to hold onto the people you find a connection with and the other ones you just keep at arm’s length.
5. Have you ever seen a ghost?
Not that I remember. I don’t really believe in ghosts. I never discount anything, but no ghosts for me yet. I’m trying to think of a funny story but nothing is coming to mind. That’s not great is it!
6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I can only think of the ring that I’m wearing. I got that from my friends on my 18th birthday and now I’m 28, but I still love it and I’m still wearing it. It has 18 written inside and every time they see it they’re amazed that I’m still wearing it – but I love it. They’re my best friends and they really know me. I love jewellery and this summer they gave me a handmade silver necklace with a paper plane shape.
7. What’s the thing you most love about Formula One?
In my job but I think across all of Formula One, there’s always a problem to solve. You really have to be on your toes. It’s true for the mechanics, for the engineers, and for our job as well. There are always issues popping up and you need to be able to solve them quickly. It’s good, it really helps you develop and it’s the thing that makes everybody really responsive. I definitely need that. There’s always something you need to solve in 30 seconds and I think that gives you a lot for your future life. Also I love just being here, to be around people, to meet new people every day. There are hundreds of people in the paddock and maybe you’ve never had a conversation but then once, after six years, you meet somewhere and get connected.
8. What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you are younger?
That life moves on. That whatever big disappointments I had, where I thought it was the end of the world, time solves the problem. When you’re young, whatever it is, a relationship or whatever, it seems terrible, but you get over it.
9. What was the last song you listened to on your phone?
It was the radio this morning. It was Backstreet Boys and I loved it! It was ‘Shape of My Heart’.
10. Have you ever had a nickname?
I don’t think so. Vandy I guess. Then thing is that in Hungary nobody really uses a nickname for Vanda. I guess Panda is the only other name. Some of the guys in the garage call me that – Vanda the Chinese Panda! But Vandy is the most common one but it’s very English, no one in Hungary would call me that.