Max Verstappen has admitted he was at fault for his frustrating Miami Grand Prix qualifying as he failed to set a lap in Q3 after a mistake on his first run and Charles Leclerc‘s crash causing a red flag.
Verstappen had two big slides in Sector 1, so aborted his lap which put all the pressure on his expected final run in Q3.
But, Leclerc‘s crash brought out the red flag and the session was not restarted to Verstappen will start from ninth whilst teammate Sergio Perez is on pole position.
“We didn’t do a lap and it was my fault,” Verstappen told reporters. “I was a little bit off line out of Turn 6 into 7. I felt a bit of understeer and couldn’t get back on line, so I aborted my lap.
“Then, you need a bit of luck hoping that there won’t be a red flag. When you try to think like that, it happens. So it’s a bit upsetting.
“The whole weekend we have been really quick. My Q2 lap was fast enough for pole so that says that we have a quick car but you need to put it together when it matters, so a bit frustrating on my part.”
Red Bull elected to not send Verstappen out in the so-called gap in Q3, when everyone sits in the garage before the final runs.
“We could have in hindsight, we could have also gone out a bit earlier,” said Verstappen. “But, at the end of the day, I make a mistake. We don’t plan on me making a mistake.
“Then you are like ‘OK, let’s go a little bit early’ so we might have a clean run. I was still quite ahead of a few cars.
“We are all on the limit and a tiny mistake can easily throw you off. That’s what happened to me today. But you always try to be perfect and this was not good.”
Verstappen is six points ahead of Perez in the Formula 1 driver standings, so victory for the Mexican would put him in the championship lead.
The Dutchman, who won the inaugural Miami GP in 2022, says second place is the minimum target result.
“It will be a little bit tougher [to overtake in Miami] but with the pace of the car we should have a good chance of moving forward,” added Verstappen.
“I hope it’s not a DRS train because if it is, we are in trouble.”