Max Verstappen was left fuming after Red Bull surprisingly failed to secure a place on the front-row on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix. Despite being seemingly off the pace during the three practice sessions, it was Mercedes who secured a first one-two of 2021, with Valtteri Bottas taking pole from Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen, who had previously dominated the weekend, finished third ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, with Pierre Gasly fifth and Carlo Sainz sixth.
The Dutchman was furious however after his final lap in Q3 was disrupted by Perez and Yuki Tsunoda. The AlphaTauri driver pulled off the track in the high-speed middle sector to let Perez through, but the Mexican driver appeared to get distracted by it and followed him off.
This took place in front of Verstappen, 24, while he was on his final lap, forcing him to slow down momentarily, and he made his feelings known over team radio.
“Ahh for f*** sakes what the f*** was that that happened there in front of me. Unbelievable, such a dumb idiot,” he said.
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Red Bull’s disappointing day was compounded by an apparent problem with the left rear-view mirror on Verstappen’s car, with Martin Brundle noting live on Sky Sports commentary that the amount of tape around it suggested more than a minor issue.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 12 points in the title race but will have concerns with the way Mercedes turned things around on Saturday, with the British driver now in prime postion to get into the slipstream of teammate Bottas.
Add despite missing out on pole Hamilton, 36, was delighted with his team’s surprise showing.
“We didn’t think we had the pace this weekend. So to lock out the front row is pretty special,” he told reporters track-side.