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Max Verstappen Admits Mercedes’ Pace Was Unreachable in Canadian GP Qualifying

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Max Verstappen acknowledged that matching Mercedes' performance in the Canadian Grand Prix qualifying was impossible for him.

Max Verstappen has implied that the tie with George Russell overstated Red Bull's speed at the Canadian Grand Prix. He confessed that he found the lap times set by Mercedes before the third qualifying session to be unattainable.

In qualifying, Russell and Verstappen posted the exact same times, marking the first tie since the 1997 European Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver's fastest lap, achieved on used tires, stayed as the quickest time since Russell couldn't better his performance on his last attempt, even though he was using new tires.

Looking back on the qualifying session, Verstappen acknowledged that upon seeing the Mercedes team’s performance in Q2, he believed, "I can't match that."

In summary, he expressed that the overall qualifying session was decent. He noted that the third qualifying session (Q3) was likely the weakest for Mercedes. Reflecting on it, he acknowledged that while matching the same lap time is impressive, considering their actual speed, he would be content with securing second place.

"After the second qualifying session, I noticed their lap times and thought, 'there's no chance I can match that'. Then, there was a slight drizzle here and there. Overall, I believe the weekend was quite chaotic for us, with several minor problems cropping up."

"From that point forward, we aimed to achieve the optimal balance for the car. I believe we managed to find a satisfactory balance during the qualifying session, which pleased me. However, we need to ensure smoother weekends without any problems. I think that will also contribute positively."

Red Bull has faced challenges in recent races, particularly with uneven tracks and navigating over curbs, which appear to be their primary vulnerabilities.

Verstappen disclosed that Red Bull continues to face identical issues in Canada.

"We're still dealing with the same issues, but the track design here is more favorable compared to Monaco. Monaco's layout has a lot of low-speed sections, which makes having good suspension and mechanical grip extremely important," he explained.

"In this situation, there's definitely a greater emphasis on aerodynamics. There are still some spots where you have to navigate over kerbs or deal with bumpy sections, but we're aware of these challenges and need to address them. Overall, being in second place here is acceptable."

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