Max Verstappen has said that he still believes that he can fight for a top finish at the Saudi Arabian GP after the Red Bull driver was forced to retire in Q2 due to a transmission issue.
Verstappen pulled up abruptly during a flying lap in the second part of qualifying in Jeddah after his car suffered a driveshaft failure.
The Dutchman was able to put the car into a safe mode to limp back to the pits, but once he arrived, the team engineers quickly deduced there was nothing to be done to get him back on track in time and retired the car.
During the practice sessions, Verstappen had complained of issues with the transmission, and the incident has thrown the race up in the air after the reigning champion looked a certainty to take pole and dominate the grand prix once again.
“It’s the first time I’ve heard about it as well. Coming out of Turn 10 was where it happened. It was annoying for it to happen,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
“We were having a great weekend, every session was going really well and every time the car was out on track it was working well, and now we are out.
“It will be a bit more tricky to get to the front, but it’s all about scoring points. It’s a very long season.
“Of course I would have wanted to start a bit further up the road, but we can’t change that either.”
Win still possible
Verstappen added that he remained confident that he could make his way through the pack in Jeddah, despite the tight, high-speed nature of the street circuit.
“Anything is possible at this track. We have seen a lot of crazy things,” he said.
“It’s going to be tough, but we have good pace, so for sure we will move forward.”