Max Verstappen said his warm-up procedure for his qualifying lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix was ruined by Felipe Massa diving past him at the final corner.
On an evening when Daniel Ricciardo beat Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to fourth on the grid, Verstappen was 0.142s slower than his Red Bull teammate and had to settle for sixth. Speaking about the lap, Verstappen said his preparation on the outlap had been disturbed by the Williams driver.
"On my last Q3 run, I was behind Lewis [Hamilton] and we were preparing our laps and just as I went into the final corner, Felipe just dived in front of me and stopped," Verstappen said. "There was a big gap behind us so I was like 'why did you do that?' So I stayed in first gear, first gear all around the corner to make a gap to him and that basically ruined my lap because you have cold tyres, you have a shi... very bad exit out of that last corner and then it's ruined Turn 1 because there is understeer and the tyres are too cold.
"I think it's a shame because we could respect each other a bit more and keep a bit of a gap instead of trying to squeeze in just ahead of the last corner. That's how it is and I cannot change it. It was a positive qualifying in general and it will be interesting tomorrow. I think we can be close to Ferrari, I think Mercedes will be a little bit too quick, but normally when it's hard on the tyres they tend to struggle a little bit more so you never know."
Asked if he would speak to Massa about the incident, Verstappen added: "Well, he's a Brazilian so there's not much to discuss!"
Red Bull has closed the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes this week, but Verstappen believes there is still more to extract from the car's setup.
"It's definitely a lot better but there are just little things on the car still. Because it is a completely new car this year and we maybe had to understand it a bit more from the first few races compared to Mercedes and Ferrari. It seems to work a bit better now.
"We all know in qualifying Mercedes and Ferrari can turn up their engines a little bit more than us, unfortunately, but in the race we normally look a little bit more competitive than in qualifying."