THERE was drama in the final moments of qualifying at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen crashed at the last turn.
Max Verstappen’s dad was left furious after his son crashed at the final turn of Saturday’s qualifying at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Verstappen headed into the latter stages of qualifying looking likely to take pole for Sunday’s all-important penultimate race of the season in Saudi Arabia.
However, the Dutchman made a huge – and uncharacteristic – mistake in the final moments, as he hit the wall on the right-hand side of the track in yet another dramatic turn of events in this remarkable Formula One campaign.
Not only did he surrender his spot at the front of the grid, but he also gifted it to title rival Lewis Hamilton, giving him the advantage in Sunday’s race in Jeddah.
Following the crash, the frustrations within the Red Bull camp were clear to see as the TV cameras panned to Verstappen’s team who were left in a state of shock and disbelief.
And this gut-wrenching reaction was also seen by Verstappen’s dad Jos, who was shown on TV furiously hitting his clenched fists into a table in the Red Bull base.
His dad’s and his team’s frustrations were of course no surprise, and these ill feelings were also shared by Verstappen himself, who after the race admitted he didn’t ‘really understand’ what went wrong to cause his final corner collision.
He said: “I don’t really understand what happened [on final flying lap]. I locked up a bit.
“P3 is disappointing but today did show that the car is quick around here… so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
He also shared this disappointment on social media as he tweeted: “I’m really disappointed with how Qualifying ended. Especially knowing the lap I was on.
“But the car is quick and we will give it everything tomorrow. All to play for #KeepPushing #SaudiArabianGP”
The mistake could not have come at a worse time for the 24-year-old, as he headed into this weekend’s race just eight points ahead of the chasing Hamilton – who has won the previous two outings in Brazil and Qatar.
And, after Verstappen’s error allowed Hamilton to swoop in to snatch pole, it gives him the opportunity to make it three from three and become the potential title favourite heading into next week’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Understandably Hamilton was much more pleased with Saturday’s result, and had plenty of praise for the Jeddah track.
The seven-time world champion said: “What a tough track this is. It’s amazing what they’ve built, the speed and the pace around here is phenomenal.”
The man in between Hamilton and Verstappen on the grid will be the Englishman’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who secured second to ensure Mercedes will have a one-two start on Sunday.
As a result, Hamilton went on to praise the Finn’s performance, describing him as ‘the best teammate there’s ever been’.
He added: “It’s a great result for the team and a great job by Valtteri [securing P2].
“He’s the best teammate there’s ever been in this sport.”