Max Verstappen explains why drivers struggled in Australia qualifying

Verstappen took pole position for the race in Melbourne ahead of the Mercedes drivers.

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Max Verstappen said that the new tarmac around the Albert Park Circuit was behind the difficulties drivers faced in getting tyres up to temperature during qualifying for the Australian GP.

Both during the practice sessions and qualifying, the cars struggled with tyre temperatures, with drivers finding that grip was missing, particularly into Turn 1.

While Verstappen managed to overcome the issues which had plagued Red Bull throughout the practice sessions to qualify in pole position, he told media that it had proven tricky to get the necessary heat into the rubber.

“I think overall, it was going quite well, through Q1, Q2, Q3. But like I said, just very tough to get the tyes to work at Turn 1, and get that comfortable feeling through that corner,” Verstappen said.

“I think that has been a bit the story again, the whole week. And I think also it wouldn’t have mattered if we had full, full running in FP1 and FP2, just on performance.

“But it seems very tricky with this new tarmac around here since last year.”

Perez crashes out

While Verstappen secured his second pole position of the season, his teammate Sergio Perez endured a torrid Saturday in Melbourne as he crashed out of qualifying in Q1.

The Mexican will start the race from the back of the grid after issues with his car reared their head once again in the early stages of the session.

He slid off the track into the gravel and Turn 3 and was unable to extricate the car, coming on the radio to say that it was the “same f***king issue” which had caused so many problems during the final practice session.

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