Max Verstappen says had he been able to produce a problem-free final qualifying lap he would have been 'very close' to Nico Rosberg's pole position time in Hungary.
The Red Bull driver was the unlucky loser who missed out on the last qualifying lap after taking the chequered flag as Q3's time limit ticked down, leaving him stranded to take fourth on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Verstappen had been aiming to ease off to give himself enough track space between the cars ahead to be able to push but failed to pass the start line before the session timed out.
The 18-year-old says he continued to push on despite taking the chequered flag but feels his last lap would have been thwarted regardless by the double yellow flags for Fernando Alonso's spin.
Despite this, Verstappen feels taking his half-second gain from sector one he calculates an ideal lap time would have seen him matching Rosberg's pole time.
“It was a bit unfortunate to miss out by one or two seconds to the red light. I was the last car so I wanted to create a free space because once you are stuck behind them you are not going to improve your lap time anyway.
“Once I got the chequered flag I just kept pushing and we will see what happens. And I was straightaway half a second faster in the first sector, so if you count that off the lap time I had did, that would be very close to Nico.
“In the end, even if I had made it, I would not have improved my time because there was a yellow flag.”
In FP3, Verstappen claimed second on the timesheet behind Rosberg with the pair separated by just 0.002s in the dry conditions.