Max Verstappen was left furious over the team radio at the Circuit of the Americas after he felt he was impeded by Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
The Dutchman was challenged throughout all three parts of qualifying on Friday as Red Bull were threatened by both Ferrari and Mercedes in their bid to secure pole position.
Verstappen’s woes peaked at the worst possible time too with the 26-year-old losing time in the dirty air behind team-mate Perez heading out of the final corner on his penultimate flying lap.
The reigning world champion unleashed his frustrations on the team radio, exclaiming: “Well done, well **** done there! What the **** was that in the last corner?”
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Despite the struggles in the final corner of that run Verstappen was still in a strong position behind Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, but things went from bad to worse on his final run.
The three-time world champion ran wide in the final sector and while he eventually crossed the line with the fastest time of the session, that lap time was deleted.
The result of that deletion was that he dropped to sixth on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix while Leclerc converted his promising pace into a third pole position of the season.
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There was even less to celebrate on the other side of the Red Bull garage as Sergio Perez laboured to an underwhelming eighth-place finish. While his team-mate battled for P1, Checo was never in that conversation throughout the three sessions.
His struggles will heap more pressure onto his shoulders off the back of a horrible Qatar Grand Prix weekend that saw him claim just a single point collectively across the sprint race and Grand Prix.
With Lewis Hamilton qualifying in P3 for Sunday’s race the Mexican will be fretting as he desperately clings to second place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
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