Chinese Grand Prix – Max Verstappen was hit with a misfiring engine early on in qualifying which led to his early departure in Q1.
The Dutchman was unable to put in a representative time during the first runs at the beginning of qualifying and was then called into the weighbridge when he pitted, putting further pressure on Verstappen for the final run.
However, the resultant lack of power meant Verstappen could not advance past 19th, and a crash for Antonio Giovinazzi at the final corner as the chequered flag fell prevented him from having another attempt.
“There was something misfiring in the engine which meant we were down on power, I tried to do a lap that could at least get me through to Q2 but the issue just wouldn’t let me,” Verstappen said.
“The guys will investigate this evening and I’m confident they can resolve it for the race. It is of course very unfortunate but these things happen and we need to move on.”
Verstappen has been promoted two places as Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer have both received 5-place grid penalties for failing to slow under yellow flags, so his Red Bull will line up 17th on the grid.
Verstappen added that he would welcome the forecasted rain for the race, as he believes it would help his chances of advancing through the field:
“A bit of rain tomorrow will definitely help us but I think even in the wet it will be tough to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes.
“I will go home tonight, get some good rest and sleep, then come to the track ready to attack on what will hopefully be a wet track.
“If it is dry tomorrow you lose too much time starting from where I am on the grid.”