Max Verstappen has described his qualifying performance for the United States Grand Prix “as one of the worst sessions of the year” having made a number of mistakes during his Q3 laps, but his efforts were all in vain due to his hefty engine penalties.

The Red Bull driver, who re-signed to stay at the team until 2020 on Friday at the Circuit of the Americas, felt he could have targeted a provisional front row but ended up last of the front-runners in sixth and over half a second off of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.

With Verstappen set to take a 15-place grid penalty for engine changes for the United States Grand Prix, qualifying fifth or higher would have prevented him from falling right to the back of the field  but in sixth place he will slot in with the rest of the drivers who also have engine penalties – which left the Dutch driver downbeat with his “worst qualifying session”.

“I made some mistakes in Q3, it was as simple as that, I should’ve been with Sebastian,” Verstappen said. “But it is easy to say now that I should have been there but if you make two reasonably big mistakes it is not what you want.

“Of course I am not happy with myself and I think this is definitely one of the worst qualifying session of the year for me.

“It was tricky out there and I tried a bit more on the last run but when you have a little moment then the next corner is not so great, basically ruined, then in the last sector you try to recover the lost lap time and then you lock up again so it is not ideal.

“I’ll try but in the first few laps you normally lose quite a lot of seconds on them so we will see. I will try to at least come back to sixth.”


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