Max Verstappen, Red Bull Formula 1 driver, believes the race will be “a bit tough” to start from 10th place on grid. But he hopes Mercedes will “do me a favor” against his title rival.
Verstappen faced an engine issue in Q3, which prevented him from taking the pole position. He will start the race from fifth row on Sunday at Hungaroring.
Charles Leclerc, F1 title contender from Ferrari, remain unable to take exploit the opportunity. He will be starting from second row, where his team mate will start behind George Russell from pole position. The British driver shocked everyone with his maiden pole position.
Verstappen responded to a question about how he felt regarding pole sitter Russell. He replied: “Well, they need to do me a favour tomorrow! That’s more important.”
“I was surprised to see it,” he added. “They were close, but I didn’t expect them to make that jump in Q3. It’s nice for me as well.”
Russell will be accompanied by Carlos Sainz, Leclerc team-mate. The Ferrari duo has downplayed the possibility of using team orders. They doesn’t expect any orders from team to help revive Leclerc’s title hopes.
Verstappen on Diagnosis
Verstappen, in Q2 session, had recorded the fastest time before he was struck with engine issue. The Dutchman was “surprised” to his pace prior to “painful” final session.
“All the guys and girls here and also back at the factory analysed a lot last night. Because we were not happy at all [after practice],” Verstappen said.
“We made some really positive changes. The car was a lot better to drive for me. We looked very competitive, even Q2, all the laps, even on a used tyre set, we were always there, very quick.
“I was looking forward to Q3. Then of course the first lap didn’t go to plan. Then I knew the pace of the car is there. Unfortunately we couldn’t show it.”
Verstappen is unlucky to be on back at the Hungaroring, which is infamous for difficult over taking.
“It’s going to be a bit tough for me, but anything is possible,” Verstappen said.
“I think a lot of Sundays have shown that already this year, but around here it’s hard to pass.
“We’ll stay patient and see what happens.”