Max Verstappen conceded his Red Bull team is on the back foot and finding it “tricky” to get to grips with the new circuit in Qatar after qualifying second behind F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes.
As Hamilton claimed what was only his fourth pole of the season, Verstappen finished almost half a second behind his title rival, with team-mate Sergio Perez down in 11th on the grid.
Verstappen said: “I think [we are] just lacking a bit of pace. It’s been just a bit more tricky for us again in qualifying.
"Checo is not even in Q3, so it just shows we are struggling a bit more than normal.
“Nevertheless [I'm] still second so it’s all to play for but, of course, I wish we could have fought for more.
"We will go over qualifying and then just focus on the race in general.
“We’ve never really done a race here so there are a lot of unknowns but I don’t really think about these things too much.
"We just need to work on our start and we will see where we end up.”
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