Max Verstappen says P4 start for F1 Sprint “quite deserved” following struggles in wet SQ3 at Chinese GP

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Many have wanted a shake up in the 2024 season, something different than the typical Red Bull dominance, and the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying did not disappoint for them. 

After Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez put their cars in P1 and P3 in SQ2, it looked like this would be a normal qualifying. But there was signs of rain heading for the track, and before the drivers knew it, the Shanghai track was quite wet for SQ3.

During SQ3, things started to take a turn in the wrong direction for the Dutch driver. On his first lap, Verstappen struggled to warm up his tyres fast enough, which resulted in him going deep at turn 6 and off-track, meaning that lap time would be deleted. 

His second lap wasn’t any better. After a pretty good lap, Verstappen found himself off track at the last corner and running across the gravel, resulting in another lap time deleted.

The three-time World Champion salvaged a decent starting spot by grabbing P4 with his only legitimate lap in the session.

The Dutchman was brutally honest about the fact they did not deserve anything better as he struggled a lot in the wet conditions.

“It was incredibly slippery, I struggled a lot to get the temperature in the tyres, and that’s why it was really difficult to keep the car on track,” Verstappen told the official F1 channel after qualifying. 

“It never really switched on for me. It was like driving on ice.

“And I think also it’s quite deserved where are in qualifying — it was not really working for me in the wet.”

While P4 might not be ideal for the three-time world champion, it still gives Verstappen a good opportunity for tomorrow’s sprint race, although he is starting on the inside, something that concerns him.

“Opportunities for sure. It’s not ideal to start on the inside here. There’s a lot lower grip left to right, so we have to try and have the best start possible. Then, of course, I think it’s going to be quite a long stint on one set of tyres, but that makes it quite interesting.”