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Mercedes not sure why Crimson Bull was so fast in Saudi F1 qualifying

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Verstappen was on track to seize pole for Crimson Bull after setting two purple sectors on his remaining qualifying lap, only to run wide at the final corner and hit the wall.

It left Verstappen third on the grid behind the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, performing as an vital second within the closing phases of his title combat in opposition to Hamilton.

Pole-sitter Hamilton trails Verstappen by eight factors on the prime of the drivers’ championship, whereas Mercedes sits simply 5 factors away from Crimson Bull within the constructors’ with two races remaining.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff admitted after qualifying that the workforce “clearly weren’t fast sufficient at this time”, and that the vehicles had been solely adequate for second and third on the grid at greatest.

“In all probability the drivers outperformed the automotive, and Max would have been on pole by I suppose nearly half a second,” Wolff stated.

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“So that is one thing which we have to analyse, as a result of it’s not what we anticipated.

“Max crashing out clearly, the final lap, places us in a extra lucky scenario with one and two on the grid.

“However that is for at this time, and I believe we will deem ourselves lucky by that scenario. The race is a completely completely different recreation once more.”

Mercedes took a shock 1-2 in qualifying after Verstappen’s shunt

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Mercedes had been tipped to dominate in Jeddah as a result of high-speed nature of the observe, however Crimson Bull has displayed an identical tempo all through the weekend thus far.

Crimson Bull workforce principal Christian Horner claimed on Friday that the brand new Jeddah observe was tighter than anticipated, meaning raw horsepower would not be as important.

Wolff conceded after qualifying that he was “a bit stunned myself that we did not have the tempo on the straights at this time, or general this weekend”.

He famous that Crimson Bull ran with diminished drag on its set-up in qualifying, however couldn’t pin the hole all the way down to a single purpose.

“I believe we’re fairly equal on the straights,” Wolff stated.

“However we’ve been shedding within the high-speed [corners], but in addition in qualifying, in a few of the low-speed, the drivers had been under no circumstances proud of the automotive.

“It’s between understeering, snapping, jacking, rolling, you identify it.”

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