Verstappen hopes for an 'interesting race' after losing steam in qualifying

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Max Verstappen is hoping for an "interesting race" after seeing Mercedes secure the front row in qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman had looked the equal of the Brackley-based team throughout the session but in Q3, Lewis Hamilton was simply too quick, finishing four-tenths ahead, before Valtteri Bottas also jumped into second with his final lap. 

“You always want more but its more positive just to stay realistic and work on getting the little things right,” Verstappen commented.

"Of course there’s still some work to do but overall, I think the weekend, in general, was pretty positive, just lacking a little too much in qualifying.

“I don’t know why that was and we, of course, have to find out. But first of all, we will see what we can do tomorrow. It’s quite aggressive on tyres here so hopefully it will be quite an interesting race.”

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Heading into the weekend, Verstappen had warned it would likely be a return to business as usual following the lottery in Turkey two weeks ago.

And asked if there was any surprise by the eventual gap to pole, the Red Bull driver replied: “No not really.

“We are obviously pushing hard to close it but we also know there are some weaknesses in the car we can’t fix this year, so we have to wait until next year.

“Of course I would have liked to be closer but we are just learning about this car. We know we have to make some changes for next year and we will try to put it all together for next year and hopefully then we will be closer.”

The only benefit for Verstappen is he will at least start on the clean side of the grid, potentially giving him a chance to challenge for second into Turn 1 at the start.