The Dutchman has not had the smoothest of weekends, as Pink Bull has been battling ongoing issues along with his rear wing up till qualifying.
However he remained hopeful that he might pull one thing particular out of the bag to place him on the entrance of the grid for Sunday’s race in Qatar.
Verstappen obtained inside 0.095 seconds of Hamilton on the smooth tyres runs in Q1, however couldn’t extract extra to overtake his rival afterward.
Hamilton was in a class of his own in the final Q3 session, ending up 0.455 seconds clear on the prime of the timesheets.
With Pink Bull’s Sergio Perez having been dumped out of qualifying in a good Q2, regardless of a change to smooth tyres for a last run, Verstappen conceded that the scenario was not best.
“I believe we’re simply missing a little bit of tempo,” he defined. “I believe it has been only a bit extra difficult for us.
“In qualifying, you can already clearly see Checo isn’t even in Q3. So it simply exhibits that we’re undoubtedly struggling a bit greater than regular.
“However nonetheless, I imply, nonetheless second, so it is all to play for after all. However I want we might have fought for extra.”
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B
Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
The high-speed nature of the Qatar observe, and its lack of heavy braking zones, implies that there are few overtaking alternatives – and issues won’t be helped by seemingly low ranges of degradation within the race.
However whereas some assume that the grand prix might be determined by the run to the primary nook, Verstappen was nonetheless protecting an open thoughts about potential alternatives.
“It’s all the time tough to say as a result of we have by no means actually finished a race right here, so there’s plenty of unknowns,” he stated. “However I do not actually take into consideration this stuff an excessive amount of. We simply have to work on our begin, after which see the place we find yourself.”
Verstappen at the moment holds a 14-points benefit over Hamilton within the title standings, with three races remaining.