Max Verstappen reacts to ‘terrible’ qualifying crash that cost Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole

The Red Bull driver was on course to take pole position from title rival Lewis Hamilton when he hit the wall on the final corner of qualifying

Jamie Braidwood
Saturday 04 December 2021 18:58
Comments
<p>Max Verstappen had to settle for P3 after his late crash  </p>

Max Verstappen had to settle for P3 after his late crash

Max Verstappen has explained the “terrible” moment that cost him pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he crashed into the wall on the final lap of qualifying in another dramatic moment in the F1 title race.

With Lewis Hamilton on provisional pole for the penultimate race of the season, Verstappen was clocking faster than his title rival heading into the final corner at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Verstappen was pushing hard on what was a magnificent lap from the Red Bull driver but he locked up heading into the final turn and collided with the wall.

It meant the Dutchman was unable to improve upon his qualifying time and he will therefore start behind title rival Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes locked out the front row.

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton heading into tomorrow’s race but the 24-year-old could be dealt a further blow if Red Bull are forced into replacing his gearbox as a result of the Q3 crash.

“It’s of course terrible,” Verstappen said. “I knew the pace was there and it showed in the last lap.

“I don’t understand what happened but I locked up. I tried to keep the car on the track to finish the lap, and I clipped the rear - so I had to stop.

“P3 is a bit disappointing knowing the lap I was on but it shows that the car is quick. Let’s see where we can do in the race.”

Asked whether he was fearful of the damage sustained to his car during the crash, Verstappen said: “I don’t know. I immediately stopped so we will see.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports: “Max was on course for the lap of the season. It’s a great shame.

“He just grabbed the front going into the final corner. We could see on his dash that he was four-tenths up [on Hamilton] going into the corner and unfortunately he’s run out of road. It’s pretty brutal but let’s hope the gearbox isn’t damaged.

“Max will be frustrated. He knows what a good lap it was. He just needs to put it behind him now. He’s still P3 on the grid. He needs a good start and anything can happen in this race.

“It’s a great shame because it was a mighty, mighty lap. We’ll get the car back and hopefully it’s not a gearbox penalty because that would be especially brutal.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in