Max Verstappen’s Mercedes admission: ‘There’s no way I can do something like that’

Max Verstappen thinks Mercedes were out of reach in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 (Right) celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme with second placed Max
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 (Right) celebrates his pole position…

Max Verstappen has suggested the dead-heat with George Russell flattered Red Bull’s pace at the Canadian Grand Prix, admitting he thought the lap times Mercedes were setting before Q3 were impossible.

Russell and Verstappen set identical times in qualifying, meaning it was the first dead-heat since the 1997 European Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver’s benchmark, set on worn tyres, remained at the top of the timesheets after Russell failed to improve on his final effort despite putting on fresh rubber.

Reflecting on qualifying, Verstappen admitted when he saw Mercedes’ laps in Q2, he thought “there’s no way that I can do something like that”.

“Yeah, I mean, in general, I think it wasn't a bad qualifying,” he said. I think what was mentioned before, probably Q3, was the weakest of the sessions for Mercedes. So, you know, being on the exact same lap time, yeah, it's great, but in hindsight, I think when you look at their pure pace, I’ll take second.

“Because after Q2, I saw their lap times, I was like, ‘there is no way that I can do something like that’. Then, of course, there was a little bit of rain in between, like a few spits here and there. But, yeah, I mean... I think overall, just the weekend was again a bit messy from our side, just too many little issues.

“And then, yeah, from there onwards, we tried to, of course, find the best possible balance with the car. I think we did get a decent balance in qualifying. I was quite happy with it. But, yeah, we need to be able to just have cleaner weekends without issues. And I think that will help a bit as well.”

Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing, second; George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG
Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull…

Red Bull have struggled in recent rounds with bumpy circuits and kerb-riding seemingly their main weakness.

Verstappen revealed that Red Bull are still struggling “with the same things” in Canada.

“Well, we're still struggling with the same things, but of course, the track layout helps compared to Monaco, where Monaco has a lot more low-speed, so it's really important to have good ride, mechanical grip,” he added.

“Here, of course, there's more aero involved. Of course, there are a few places still where you need to ride kerbs or you have bumpy places, but we know those limitations, so we need to just work on that. But that's why I think in general, to be P2 here is alright.”

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