Max Verstappen says power unit issue was ‘painful’ in Hungary qualifying

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — Max Verstappen said he simply lost power on his final qualifying run at the Hungarian Grand Prix, leaving him tenth on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Verstappen looked in contention for pole position, which was claimed by Mercedes’ George Russell ahead of the two Ferraris, but made a mistake on his first run in Q3 and then lost power on the outlap ahead of his second attempt.

“I just had no power exiting the pit lane on that final run,” Verstappen told reporters. “The engine was running but there was no release, and that, of course, is painful.”

Asked what happened on his first attempt in Q3 before the loss in power, Verstappen added: “I just locked up into Turn 2 and had no front-end grip.

“Maybe the outlap was a bit slow, but then you know normally your second run is OK because you have another shot at it. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that lap.

“It’s going to be a bit tough for me [in the race] but anything is possible. I think a lot of Sunday’s have already show that this year, but round here it is hard to pass. We will stay patient and see what happens.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Verstappen had the pace to challenge for pole position.

“Max felt a lot more comfortable with the balance of the car today and I think we were in with a shot at pole, but a lock up on the first run into T2 immediately put us on the back foot,” he said. “We still felt like we could have a crack at it but unfortunately we had a power unit related issue on his out lap and we were trying to reset sensors and so one to try to cure it and clear it.

“But unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. No representative time for Max in Q3, so 10th and 11th on the grid means it will be a busy race tomorrow.”


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Laurence Edmondson

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