MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 4th, 1:08.925 (Practice 3 – Position: 9th, 1:10.445)
“I think we maximised the result in Qualifying today but we were just not fast enough. In general the pace has been simply not quite good enough across the whole weekend. I think both Daniel and I have been chasing the car balance and we could never find the full grip and potential. In Qualifying the grip was a little bit better; we lose a lot of time on the straights here but I think there are also one or two tenths we could have found. I never expected to beat Ferrari and Mercedes on this track as it’s just not strong for us, but I did expect to be a little closer. For sure I would love some rain in the race, but I don’t think it looks like that’s going to happen. Maybe I will do some praying tonight! We may need a bit of luck to be honest, but you never know what can happen up front and it can still be an exciting race.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 5th, 1:09.330 (Practice 3 – Position 5th, 1:10.244)
“A kind of a mysterious Saturday really. Normally, in past years, Fridays were never good for us and we then improved in Qualifying. Lately Fridays have been pretty comfortable but then on Saturday we often lose out. I think we were better on the soft tyre in Qualifying today but I’m sure something was up with the last set of supersofts I had in Q3 as I had vibrations as soon as I left the pits. That was a bit frustrating because I didn’t really feel I could work with too much out there. We start on the softs so hopefully that helps us tomorrow. I’ve got to try and charge through the field and I think we’ll have a good race car. Lewis is starting behind me so we’ll see; if Mercedes is as quick as they have been all weekend I might see if we can get a bumper on the front of Lewis’ car and he can push me up the field.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “An uneventful Qualifying for us today, and we finished where we expected to be. Both drivers had a few issues with grip around this circuit and with temperatures being what they were, to qualify in fourth and fifth respectively for Max and Daniel is the maximum we could have hoped for. With Max on the second row of the grid, he will take any opportunity he can to make early progress, while Daniel, whose penalties mean he will start down the grid, will be up for the challenge of moving through the field quickly and closing in on the leaders. With Lewis also starting at the back, tomorrow’s grand prix could be very interesting indeed.”
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 some guy called Max Verstappen.
1. If you could go back in time, where and when would you go?
I think I would go back to when I was 10 to 12 years old, just to be able to have even more fun with what I was doing then – without any problems, nobody looking at you. Just playing with friends and stuff.
2. When were you happiest?
You have a lot of happy moments. It’s impossible to know which is the happiest ever. Was it when I was 12? I don’t think so. I think I’m a happier person now than when I was 12 because now I don’t have to go to school anymore!
3. Do you have any phobias?
Spiders and sharks. I would never go into the sea where it’s known that there are sharks. If ever anyone organised an activity for us where we go into the sea, cage diving with sharks or anything, they can do it themselves. Spiders – I just don’t like the shape of them, disgusting animals.
4. What trait in other people annoys you?
Lateness – when people are late for meetings. When people are not neat, when their house is dirty. And also, when people take too long to order in a restaurant. It’s really annoying in a restaurant when the waiter comes over and everyone is ready except one person who says ‘oh, actually I haven’t looked, what should I have?’
5. If you could learn a new skill overnight, what would it be?
Singing. That would be quite cool. Dance moves as well. Actually, both would be quite good.
6. What was your worst race weekend?
It was in 2012, I just swapped teams and it was just horrible. There was just no pace. It was at Zuera [near Zaragoza] and I qualified 34th. It was the worst ever in my whole life. I was really down. I felt like I was driving well, because at the next race we swapped to another team and I qualified second. Same track, a week later.
7. What’s your favourite word?
Can I choose two? Simply lovely. I can’t say why.
8. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
Definitely that durian fruit Red Bull made us eat in Singapore. The smell was just unbelievable, horrible. It tasted of nothing and made you puke. Plus, your breath stinks really badly afterwards. For two days after I felt terrible!
9. What’s your ideal holiday destination?
I haven’t found it yet. Then best so far was last summer, with friends in Ibiza. A lot of fun.
10. What has been your best race weekend?
PFI kart circuit in England, world championship race, 2013. I qualified on pole, won all six heats, pre-final and final. Better than anything. Always fastest. It’s always nice to put it all together. I did the same in Mexico, trying for the fastest laps as well as the win. My race engineer wasn’t happy! They didn’t tell me that Seb got the lap!