Max Verstappen believes that his lack of Friday track time could result in a tricky getaway at the Miami Grand Prix, simply due to an inability to carry out practice starts.
Verstappen and Red Bull have been playing catch-up for most of the weekend, following a spate of issues on Friday.
Having taken on a new gearbox, a hydraulic issue hit Verstappen's RB18, resulting in a loss of steering input, while he also encountered a small wheel hub fire.
Sitting out most of FP2 - only completing a solitary tour of the circuit - Verstappen pointed to another drawback of his "messy" weekend as he spoke to media, including RacingNews365.com, after qualifying.
"I don't know," Verstappen admitted, when asked whether starting from third place and on the racing line could be an advantage at the start.
"I haven't seen any other starts and I honestly cannot tell you, because I haven't done a start on the left-hand side or on the right-hand side."
Verstappen wary of high tyre degradation
With the Miami International Autodrome playing host to its inaugural race this weekend, Verstappen said the Grand Prix is a step into the unknown as he aims to close up on Charles Leclerc in the Drivers' Championship.
"It's a new track, so we don't really have a lot of information," he said.
As red flags constantly interrupted practice, the reigning World Champion pointed to tyre degradation as a further unknown factor for everyone, given that long runs were compromised.
"It's going to be super warm tomorrow, so you also don't entirely
know what's going to happen with the tyres, because I think, all of us,
we don't really have a proper long run, so there's still a lot of
question marks," he added.
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Difficult to find rhythm on a street circuit
The Dutch driver has been critical of Red Bull's weekend so far, saying his team have made it "very difficult for ourselves" as a result of their issues.
Verstappen added that the temporary nature of the Miami track meant his lack of Friday running was especially detrimental.
"I've only done four or five laps yesterday, and you cannot afford that on a new track like this, and a street circuit in general, because it's very critical to just do laps and understand the car and get in a rhythm," he explained.
"On a [purpose-built] track, it's quite easy to get in a rhythm. On a street circuit, it's a lot more difficult, and we basically failed on that side.
"I think, in general, we are experienced enough to catch up quite a lot of it, but to really fight against a strong team like [Ferrari], you cannot afford it.
"Of course, we still got close, but I think we could have done a much better job today if we had had a cleaner Friday."
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