Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finds himself as the meat in a Red Bull Racing sandwich with Max Verstappen starting the race just ahead of him and Daniel Ricciardo starting just behind the German.
Verstappen set the fourth fastest qualifying time for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit with a 01:11.485s time and will start the race just behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Speaking following the session, Verstappen commented by saying:
I was just a little disappointed with my last lap, I was expecting someone to jump ahead of me so Kimi being in front wasn’t a big surprise. It was an odd session, Q1 and Q2 felt good but then I wasn’t very happy with the grip of the new set of tyres I got. We need to look into this as the rear felt slick in sector 2, we will analyse and hopefully figure out why. We have ended up very close to third position which realistically is the best we can do in dry conditions so todays result is still pretty good. We have split the Ferraris which means we will have a fun race on our hands tomorrow, especially if the weather changes. It was a bit of a shame the rain stayed away for qualifying. We had a few drops but not enough to make conditions swing in our favour, it is supposed to rain more tomorrow so let’s look forward to that. With some wet track condition our level of grip compared to other cars should come up a bit. Long run pace looks good so after a strong start we can put on a good race. I will go out there tomorrow to perform the best I can and deliver the highest finish position possible for the team. I haven’t paid much attention to the stories of Mercedes talking with Red Bull, Nikki was in our hospitality but he just likes our food and drinks, they are very good. He is Austrian so perhaps just wanted an Austrian drink.
Daniel Ricciardo starts the race from sixth place following a qualifying time of 01:11.540s and speaking directly after qualifying the Australian commented by saying:
I feel so-so about 6th place today. I felt we made progress from Q1-Q2 and then in Q3 I was little bit disappointed with my lap. Probably didn’t get the balance right in myself. It’s a tough track and it’s quite a short lap so if you make a mistake in one corner it’s very hard to make up that time. I had a good first sector but was probably a little bit conservative, a couple of corners where I was trying to not make a mistake more than trying to gain some time. We knew qualy would be tight with Ferrari in dry conditions, and it is close and I think that’s what makes it a little frustrating, but I’ll learn from that and hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race. It’s fun when it’s that close but not fun when you are the last of the bunch. The forecast has said all week that Sunday had the highest chance of rain, hopefully that’s true, just to spice things up a bit, and if so then we’ll try and make it exciting for everyone else and give the fans an opportunity to see a good race. If it rains tomorrow it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Red Bull Racing has almost certainly assured themselves second place in the Constructors championship as they hold a commanding 62 point lead over Ferrari with just two races remaining.
Speaking following qualifying, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner commented by saying:
A very tight qualifying to end up fourth and sixth. Looking at the grid positions for tomorrow’s race there’s only a tenth and a half between third and sixth place today. Max unfortunately lost a little bit of time in the middle sector on his last lap when he was set for an improvement but hopefully, with chances of mixed weather conditions tomorrow, from those grid positions we can make good progress in the race.