Data Shows Max Verstappen as the Slowest Driver of All During Qualifying at British GP

Published 07/17/2021, 6:26 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing first and second respectively in the sprint race qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


It was a rather disappointing qualifying session for Max Verstappen, as the Dutchman failed to beat Lewis Hamilton to P1. The seven-time world champion looked like the second fastest car throughout the session but managed to deliver when he needed it the most.

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However, what’s interesting is that the Red Bull driver denied Hamilton being the fastest car on the track. Instead, he claimed that he wasn’t able to attack any corners due to odd understeering, which consequently led to a loss in speed.

So, how far were Verstappen’s claims true?

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Well, data suggest that Verstappen was in fact struggling for pace through the final Q3 run.

Max Verstappen, the slowest of all in the speed trap

Verstappen lost a substantial amount of time to Hamilton in sector 1, with the gap being around 0.2s. What’s more, the Dutchman’s Red Bull was also the slowest car on the speed trap.

While Hamilton topped the sheet with 330 km/h, Verstappen was down in P20 with 320.9 km/h, the difference being almost 10 km/h.

However, his sector 2 and 3 times were impressive, and a perfect sector 1 was all he needed to propel himself up to P1 in qualifying, which he failed to do so.

Nevertheless, the race for pole position is yet to begin, and Verstappen could become the first Red Bull driver in years to secure four consecutive pole positions in F1. And his prospects of accomplishing the feat are shining bright.

Verstappen’s actual claims during the post-qualifying interview

Following the qualifying session, Verstappen opened up about why he wasn’t as quick as Hamilton in Q3. “No, we just need to look at ourselves,” he said.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Because I think the car itself wasn’t actually handling quite well. But, it’s just a lot of understeer. So, I couldn’t really attack any corner, just waiting for the front to grip up. Bit of a weird feeling to be honest to drive. I don’t think it was a set-up or front wing related.”

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Overall, this is the kind of starting grid one would have yearned for, for the sprint race. Hamilton will be starting alongside Verstappen, and thus, it is likely to be an incredible adrenaline-induced racing between the two title contenders from start to finish.

But who is ultimately going to come out on top?

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Watch Story: Top 5 wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 career

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Rohit Kumar

941 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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