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“Third-place seat has my imprints” - Verstappen

“Third-place seat has my imprints” - Verstappen

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“Third-place seat has my imprints” - Verstappen

“Third-place seat has my imprints” - Verstappen

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen joked he wants to take home the interview chair reserved for the third-placed qualifier after ending up in the position for the 10th time this season at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Verstappen had topped the final practice session ahead of qualifying before setting the benchmark in Q2 but he was upstaged by Mercedes once again as the world champions took their 13th front row lock-out of the season.

Standing up in the post-session interview room to check the back of his chair, Verstappen said: “I’m used to sitting in this chair. It might actually have my prints… yep, more or less. I think at the end of the season I’m going to take this seat home. It’s very comfortable.”

Verstappen knew Mercedes would be tough to beat when he finished his first run in Q3 two-tenths behind pace-setter and eventual pole man Valtteri Bottas and said that although "pole was on" he was ultimately satisfied with third.

The Dutchman will start on a different tyre compound compared to the Mercedes cars ahead of him on Sunday and believes the different strategies could create an intriguing spectacle on the first usage of the Sakir Outer track.

“To be P3 I think is good for us on a track like this," he added. "We are starting on different tyres so it will be interesting how it plays out for us. We have nothing to lose, it's better to have a bit of fun and see what we can do.

“Last week, our long runs seemed quite good but in the race just we came a bit short. It’s a bit of a shame, but let’s see if it’s going to be any better this weekend.”

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