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Verstappen bemoans "lack of rear grip" that cost a shot at pole

Verstappen bemoans "lack of rear grip" that cost a shot at pole

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Verstappen bemoans "lack of rear grip" that cost a shot at pole

Verstappen bemoans "lack of rear grip" that cost a shot at pole

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen blamed a lack of rear grip for his inability to prevent Lewis Hamilton from taking a 98th career pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Verstappen had been optimistic of challenging the Mercedes driver for the top spot ahead of qualifying after having set the fastest time in the Saturday afternoon practice session.

Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, however, stretched their legs when night fell to leave the Dutchman trailing by 0.414 seconds.

"My lap felt pretty good," he said. "I was lacking a bit of rear grip in the low-speed corners to my liking but overall, it was quite a decent qualifying.

"Let's see how we will go in the race because it will be very hard on the tyres so I hope we made the right compromise for that."

"I think [Mercedes] definitely picked up their pace a bit. It will be hard to beat them but we have different tyres available so let's see if that works to our advantage or not. I just hope that will be an exciting race so I think that is most important."

Verstappen will be joined on the second row of the grid by team-mate Alex Albon, potentially giving Red Bull the option of using a two-pronged attack to try and out-fox the champions.

But Verstappen insisted he was only focused on his own job and that he wouldn't rely on others assisting him to challenge for the victory.

"Let's see what happens," he added. "I try to focus on myself and try to stay close to the Mercedes cars and then I will see if somebody can follow us."

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