Verstappen has come under increasing pressure after a series of incidents at the opening rounds of the season and in Monaco he missed qualifying - and a shot at victory - after a crash in final practice.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, victorious in Monaco two weeks ago, was sixth in the second Red Bull as his team-mate Verstappen, who had been fastest throughout practice, continued to deliver a ideal riposte to his critics.
"So far everything went well and I have a good feeling". For me, it was pretty straightforward, and in terms of strategy we did what we wanted to do.
"To compensate for this lack of low-speed grip we have to carry more wing which means more drag".
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"It's such a fun track to drive and we didn't have any problems, I really enjoyed it". Vettel said. "I brushed the wall and lost some time getting ready for the second session".
"It's not always that we start right out the box but it just started right". We were chasing ourselves all weekend. We still got everything out of the day we needed but we were compromised a bit for pace.
"Yesterday we felt quite competitive and the vehicle was behaving quite well, so we were quite confident for today's qualifying, but we were not on the pace today unfortunately", Alonso said after qualifying in 14th place. So qualifying was good. If I get a few more I will headbutt someone'. It is the tail end of that pack, which is why I am not happy. It feels like there are no better questions out there than keep asking me about what happened in the previous weekend.
Ricciardo's auto has spent more time in the garage than Verstappen's this weekend, but Ricciardo does not think he can use too much of that as an excuse for the gap to the Dutchman. "The auto all weekend has been really strong". He has been comfortable from the start, and he has been able to set up each run and they have not really changed the vehicle at all. "But it showed in Monaco that we have a great vehicle. It will be interesting to see how the Red Bull does as well, so hopefully we can progress and apply the pressure".
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A Mercedes spokesman later revealed that the team would be using the unit at the French Grand Prix on June 24 instead.
"I am still happy with the decision".
When asked if he felt Red Bull had the pace for pole after seeing teammate Daniel Ricciardo go quickest in Q2, he said: "I knew we had a good vehicle, but I wanted to wait and see how competitive we would be in Q3". But I prefer to start towards the front here.
"Hindsight is a great thing and so naturally it would have been great to try the hyper today [if Mercedes had selected more sets], but others have and I've seen some that degraded a lot and some maybe haven't".
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