Gripless Portimao no longer in Verstappen's top three favourite tracks

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Max Verstappen says the gripless track surface means Portimao is no longer in his top three favourite racetracks.

The Dutchman has been quick all weekend at the Portuguese Grand Prix, but has struggled to put a complete lap together, as was the case in qualifying.

Verstappen actually set a lap time fast enough for pole position at the start of Q3 but it was deleted due to track limits at Turn 4.

Then on his second lap, he bemoaned traffic as he had to settle for third behind the two Mercedes'.

“The whole qualifying was very difficult to drive, I was struggling a lot with the grip,” said a clearly unhappy Verstappen in  Parc Ferme.

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“I started off really, really slow. I just had no balance in the car. We slowly got to a point where I was happier, but it was basically just compromising one thing and then also losing a bit of performance in the other thing. It was just not nice.

“That first lap in Q3 was decent, I just had a big moment in Turn 4 so I went a little bit off track.

"In the end that was the fastest lap but it just showed that it was a really difficult session to get any kind of grip because that corner is flat and suddenly out of the blue the car just snapped on me and I ran a bit wide.

“I thought I can do that lap again, so I go out and I was within a tenth of the lap, and then in the last sector, I lost all my lap time with an Aston Martin in front, and then taking my tow on the line as well. It was messy, but it is what it is.” 

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What makes the lack of grip at Portimao more frustrating for Verstappen, is it has completely ruined the experience which made him fall in love with the circuit when he first visited shortly before its resurfacing.

“It’s been a bit hit-and-miss the whole weekend,” he said of his Red Bull's performance. “We are struggling a lot to find a balance and I didn’t enjoy one single lap this weekend, just because of the state of the track.

“The layout is amazing but the grip we are experiencing, I don’t think is nice. I know it’s the same for everyone but for me personally, it’s just not enjoyable to drive.

"I remember coming here last year before the Grand Prix and it was one of my top three favourite tracks but then they changed the tarmac and, for me, I don’t enjoy it anymore.”