Max Verstappen is convinced he could have beaten both Ferrari drivers to third on the grid in Baku without encountering two different car issues in qualifying.
After topping both practice sessions on Friday, Verstappen's FP3 came to a premature end when his Red Bull RB13 suffered an electrical shutdown. The Dutch teenager has endured a difficult run of reliability issues in recent races and declared himself "fed up" with his current bad luck after retiring from second position early in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen's practice pace this weekend in Baku suggested he and Red Bull could take the fight to Ferrari but he missed out on a place on the second row, which he put down to the problems encountered on Saturday.
"Where do we start?" he said after being asked to explain why he did not consider fifth position a good performance. "In Q2, I had the issue going to the limiter, a bit similar what we had in the last practice so we had to wind the engine down which cost me quite a bit of lap time which was a shame.
"The car in general was always improving, I think the main target was for to get the front tyres to work in the first sector. I think in Q3 it got quite a bit better because of the last run. I nearly improved by three-tenths then going into Turn 7 I had a little lock-up so went a bit wide... so by having a bit more wheel spin than usual I lost gear sync so all the way up through the castle and then [on the] long straight I was having very hard shifts so I lost more or less two-tenths because of it.
"Today that cost me P3 you know though those things together with what happened in Q2 already where we had to wind the engine back. Yeah it's a shame."
When asked how much the two issues cost him Verstappen, who was 0.2s behind third-placed Kimi Raikkonen, replied: "[The engine cut-out] more or less two-tenths I think and then together with first of all locking-up a bit but then losing the gear sync, all in all, more than four-tenths."
Despite his frustrations at how Q2 and Q3 unfolded, Verstappen is encouraged with Red Bull's pace at a power sensitive track.
"We should be ahead [of Ferrari] without all things happening in qualifying so yeah it's looking a lot better, but of course when you're looking to Mercedes we know we have to improve but we know they have this power mode which they can use twice maybe. So we still have to work but I think the car in general when you look to sector two, where you have most of the corners, we were very competitive so I can be happy with that."