Verstappen hampered by odd handling issue

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Junior bull Max Verstappen booked a P9 spot on tomorrow's grid following qualifying, just edged out by team mate Carlos Sainz.

The Dutchman was hoping for a better final run but his performance was apparently hindered by handling issues, the origins of which will require some thorough investigation by Toro Rosso.

"It could’ve been quite a bit better but something happened when I went out in qualifying," explained the 18-year-old driver.

"The car was pulling to the left so it was a bit of a weird feeling – a lot of oversteer on righthand corners and understeer on the lefthand so we need to check what went wrong there.

"It was tricky to get a clean lap so for me that was the main problem that we need to check for tomorrow because it’s a big thing. You want to go straight on the straight line!"

Verstappen 's handling problems appeared to materialize suddenly as no worries were reported in the morning's free practice session. He was also quick to state that tyres were most probably not the culprit of the annoyance.

"I don’t know what happened but straight out of the box in quali I got this and I also reported on the radio but as you know you can’t do anything in qualifying so you just have to try and live with it, which is not good.

"Sometimes it can be a tyre or something but it did it on every set which is quite unusual. We need to strip the car and see what went wrong there. But in the end both cars are in Q3 so that’s good."

Verstappen admitted that as the current hierarchy stands, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull appear out of reach. But racing should be close with Force India's drivers.

"No, to be honest they were also quite strong in quali in Bahrain so I don’t know why but they seem like they have quite a good pace in qualifying.

"So hopefully tomorrow in the race they will have a bit of a drop off like in Bahrain but I mean we are there – it’s not like they are miles away so definitely we can fight."

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