Verstappen happy with first place after problems with tire warm-up

Author of the article: , published April 1, 2023

Max Verstappen says he is happy with the top starting position for the Australian Grand Prix after suffering a lot of tire warm-up problems during qualifying.

At Red Bull, unlike their rivals, they did not use the tactic of two practice laps before the fast lap to warm up the tires, and as a result, Verstappen slipped to sixth place during Q3. The Dutchman felt a sense of relief after setting the fastest time in the final fast lap, which saw him take the 21st pole position of his career by almost a quarter of a second ahead of George Russell.

"The last round was quite good," he said. "Until then, we had a lot of problems with traction. Everyone did two practice laps, or two quick laps. I only had one round and it worked out this time, so I'm very happy."

The race in Australia will see one Red Bull driver start from first and the other from last after Sergio Perez skidded off the track in the first stint and crashed out without a set time. The commissioners allowed the Mexican to take part in the race based on the times of Friday practice, although without a time, he is officially not within the prescribed 107% of the fastest time. Verstappen believes that the car will be very fast in the race, so in principle Perez will also be able to break into the points winners. "In the third training session, I drove a race simulation, so we got a feel for the tires. The race won't be easy because of the tires, but this year our car is usually the best in races."

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