Max Verstappen fumes at Red Bull

Max Verstappen caught Sergio Perez as he approached the end of his first push lap in Q3, costing him valuable time.

Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s United States Grand Prix from sixth on the grid, after a challenging qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

With it being a sprint weekend, qualifying took place on Friday evening in Austin, Texas; however, this didn’t stop the track temperatures from being in the low 40s.

Ahead of qualifying, Verstappen had topped the only practice session of the weekend, although Free Practice 1 was a clear indicator that it’s not going to be a typical dominant weekend for Verstappen nor for Red Bull.

He had actually claimed provisional pole in Q3 following his final lap time, only for it to be deleted due to exceeding track limits on the exit of the penultimate corner.

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Verstappen was having to push incredibly hard after locking-up at Turn 1, which lost him valuable time.

The three-time World Champion went wide at the penultimate corner after clipping too much of the kerb on the inside, unsettling his RB19.

As a result of his best time being deleted, it’s Charles Leclerc who’ll start from pole, ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes all look good at COTA, meaning that it’s no guarantee that Verstappen will fight through to the front on Sunday.

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Even his first flying lap in Q3 was compromised as he approached the final corner, where he came across his team-mate.

As Verstappen was pushing to end his first hot lap, Perez was about to start his, with turbulent air from the Mexican’s car having unsettled the Dutchman’s car in the final corner.

Verstappen’s rear end snapped as a result, arguably costing him a tenth of a second.

The 26-year-old was furious with Red Bull having allowed the situation to happen, with it having been a clear case of poor strategic management.

Verstappen was far from happy and made his feelings known over the team radio.

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“Well done, Verstappen sarcastically said before adding, “Well f***ing done there! What the f*** was that in the last corner?” he asked.

Had Verstappen not lost a tenth of a second in the final corner on his opening hot lap in Q3, then he’d likely be starting from P5 instead of P6.

This could make a big difference come Sunday, as he’ll be starting from the dirty side of the grid.