Horner: Max was pulling 'something very special' out of the bag

ยฉRedBull

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen was on course in qualifying in Jeddah to achieve "something very special" until it all went wrong for the Dutchman in the final corner of his lap.

During his final flyer in Q3, Verstappen was several tenths up on pace setter Lewis Hamilton, en route to securing pole for Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

But as the Red Bull charger headed into Jeddah's Turn 27, he locked up the front left, veered wide on the exit of the corner and hit the wall.

The ruinous mistake likely deprived Verstappen of pole position or at least of a spot on the front row alongside Hamilton. Instead, the Dutchman will start his race on Sunday from P3 on the grid.

"It was looking like the lap of the year up until that moment," commented Horner.

"Itโ€™s a great shame as it was a mighty, mighty lap and he was pulling something very special out of the bag.

"Max will be frustrated I am sure as he knows what a good lap it was, but he just needs to put it behind him now."

Despite his driver's costly mistake, Horner wasn't giving up hope on Verstappen bouncing back on Sunday on a track where obviously anything can happen.

"Heโ€™s still P3 on the grid and he just needs to have a good start, as anything could happen in this race," said the Red Bull boss.

"Unfortunately, we are on the back foot now, so weโ€™ll get the car back and hope the damage isnโ€™t too bad.

"Grid position on any street circuit is crucial and itโ€™s going to be very hard to overtake here, so itโ€™s all going to be about strategy and Checo could have a major part to play in the race."

As for the man himself, Max Verstappen will give it his all, as usual. But the 24-year-old admitted to being unsure about his ability to overtake around Jeddah's high-speed layout.

"I hope itโ€™s going to be alright," he said. "[But] itโ€™s not only that โ€“ we donโ€™t really know the tyres, how theyโ€™re going to be behave.

"Iโ€™m confident. Of course, I wouldโ€™ve liked to start first, but now starting third, its a bit more difficult, but definitely not impossible."

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