Max Verstappen is optimistic that he can still beat championship rival Lewis Hamilton during Sunday evening’s Saudi Arabian GP.

Verstappen was set to take pole position in Jeddah until a last-corner accident ruined his blistering lap. The Dutchman had to settle for P3 on the grid as a result, a row behind his title rival.

Verstappen was frustrated with the incident, labeling it as a “terrible” end to his session. However, he believes he has the pace to surpass the two Mercedes cars on Sunday. The Red Bull car showed great pace in qualifying and set multiple quickest sector times compared to Mercedes.

“Well, it at least seems like we can fight,” Verstappen commented.

“In Qatar, we were really off the pace, so it seems like our car is working a bit better here and I hope that tomorrow on this track we can follow well, and then I’m sure if that’s the case then we have a good shot at it.” 

“I’m confident. Of course, I would’ve liked to start first, but now starting third [winning] is a bit more difficult, but definitely not impossible.”

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