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Bahrain GP: Verstappen says F1 rival Massa 'ruined' qualifying lap

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen says Felipe Massa "ruined" his final lap in Bahrain Grand Prix Formula 1 qualifying by overtaking him into the final corner.

The Red Bull driver ended up only sixth on the grid after topping final practice.

Verstappen felt that performance was probably misleading but believes he could have been higher on the grid than where he ended up.

"First in FP3 doesn't say a lot but still we looked competitive," he said.

"Qualifying was very positive as well, every run just getting faster, basically.

"I felt really good, but on my last run I was behind Lewis [Hamilton] and we were just preparing our laps.

"Just before I wanted to prepare into the last corner, Felipe dived in front of me then just stopped.

"There was a big gap behind us, so it was like, 'why did you do that?'

"I just had to stay in first gear all round the corner to make a gap to him that basically ruined my lap because you have cold tyres, you have a very bad exit out of that last corner and then it's ruined."

When asked if he would discuss the matter with the Williams driver, Verstappen joked: "Well he's a Brazilian - so there's not much to discuss.

"At Turn 1 the tyres were too cold, so you understeer and it snowballs.

"It's a bit of a shame - we could respect each other on that to keep a bit of a gap instead of trying to squeeze in just before the last corner."

Despite the disappointing qualifying session, Verstappen is optimistic that Red Bull is making progress and he can move forward in the race.

"It was a positive qualifying in general, so it will be interesting tomorrow," he said.

"We can be close to Ferrari - Mercedes is still a little bit too quick but normally when it's hard on the tyres they tend to struggle a bit more, so you never know.

"We all know that in qualifying Mercedes and Ferrari can turn their engines up a little bit more than us unfortunately, but in the race normally we look a little bit more competitive."

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