Max Verstappen says a combination of car issues cost him the chance of becoming Formula One's youngest pole-sitter at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Dutchman looked on course to break Sebastian Vettel's record of being the youngest-ever pole-sitter -- which the German achieved aged 21 years and 72 days at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix while driving for Toro Rosso. At 45 days younger, Verstappen was set to score his first career pole but was eclipsed in the dying seconds by Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Verstappen had topped each of the three practice sessions and looked to be the man to beat going into qualifying.
When asked where it went wrong for him, he said: "It was just not good. I was struggling the whole qualifying, with the same problems I had in FP2, when I had a lot of rear locking, on the down-shifting and when I come off throttle.
"Somehow the behaviour was not correct. So we couldn't do anything throughout qualifying, so I just had to lock a lot of tools, go forward on the brake balance to try and stabilise the whole car. It's not how you want to do qualifying, normally you go more aggressive and be more aggressive on all the tools. That's it.''
Verstappen is not sure whether the same issues will be a factor in Sunday's race.
''We'll find out. At the moment I don't know.''
Verstappen held a 0.2s advantage over the rest of the field after the first runs of Q3, which was a surprise to the Red Bull driver given the issues he was facing throughout qualifying.
"Let's say it like this, I was still surprised that I was first in Q3, because I didn't feel good at all. Like I said before, it's really difficult to anticipate those things. I was driving around the issues -- but in qualifying, that's not what you want.''