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Christian Horner

Horner predicts Verstappen's qualifying position without power issue

Christian Horner has given his verdict on where Max Verstappen could have qualified in Hungary had he not experienced a power loss issue in qualifying.

Verstappen Hungary
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Christian Horner believes that without Q3 technical issues Max Verstappen would have had a chance of a front row grid position at the Hungaroring.

The Red Bull driver was unable to set a final flying lap in Q3 after encountering a power loss problem.

Following an error on his earlier Q3 effort, the late technical issue meant Verstappen finished the qualifying hour in P10.

Verstappen's main rival for the Driver's Championship, Charles Leclerc, qualified in the third place, whilst his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez will start behind him in P11.

Speaking after qualifying, Red Bull Team Principal Horner explained the issues faced by Perez and Verstappen and what attempts they made to fix Verstappen's power loss issue.

"It was very frustrating to lose Checo in Q2; he got a bit of traffic into Turn 2," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"Max felt a lot more comfortable with the balance of the car today and I think we were in with a shot of pole, but a lock-up on the first run into Turn 2 immediately put us on the backfoot.

"We still felt confident that we could have a crack at it but unfortunately he had a power unit-related issue on his out-lap.

"We were obviously trying to reset sensors and so on to try and cure it and clear it but unfortunately, it wasn't to be, so no representative time for Max in Q3."

Horner: Front row was possible on improving track

It was assumed that Ferrari would be left to take a front-row lockout, but Mercedes' George Russell secured a surprise first F1 pole position.

Ferrari will head into the Hungarian GP with Carlos Sainz in second, and Leclerc in third.

Red Bull's qualifying woes are likely to make for a difficult race, with the Hungaroring historically being a tough venue for overtaking.

When asked where he thought Verstappen could have qualified with a fully-functional car, Horner confirmed that he felt a front-row start was possible.

"The wind got a little gusty in Q3... I don't know... on theoretical [pace] I think Max was at least fourth, and then the track was improving," Horner added.

"I think we could have had a shot, at the very least, at the front row today.

"At least it's happened today, and not tomorrow. We'll race hard from there and give it everything."

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