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autosport.com

A major misfire has meant that Verstappen finished 19th during the opening session of qualifying in China.

The Red Bull driver has wished it rains on Sunday so that he can overcome the disadvantage of starting at the back of the grid.

“It should be better if it’s raining. We are not that competitive compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, but I will give it my best to move forward and overtake people.

“I just want to enjoy driving and pass some people,” he added.

The engine of his Red Bull car encountered a spark plug issue which meant he was forced to suffer a loss of power going into the qualifying rounds.

However, grid penalties to Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer have meant he will start at least two places higher.

The malfunction meant the RedBull driver was unable to set a representative time.

Red Bull has looked into the matter to ensure it doesn’t happen next time around.

“I think it’s something to do with the coil from the spark plug, and that limited my qualifying. There was no power, I couldn’t use the power modes so tried to do a lap but you are down a lot on power so it makes no sense really. We’re still investigating. It’s not what we want, of course.”

The driver has the full support of his team who are optimistic there will be a change of fortunes going into the main race.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner expressed his disappointment at the incident, but said it would be salvaged later on.

Overtaking will be the major challenge for the driver but he will have to hope that others slip up, quite literally, as it remains his only chance to finish at a commendable position.

He would be hoping that rain helps him achieve that during the course of the race.

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