Career-first pole shows Red Bull progress - Verstappen

Image by Andy Hone/LAT

Career-first pole shows Red Bull progress - Verstappen

Formula 1

Career-first pole shows Red Bull progress - Verstappen


Max Verstappen says his first career pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix is “incredible” and highlights how much progress Red Bull and Honda has made in 2019.

Off the back of two wins in the past three races, Verstappen produced an excellent final lap to take pole position by just 0.018s. It was his first in 93 attempts and also gives Honda its first pole since returning to Formula 1. Verstappen says the way the car and power unit improved throughout the session set him up for his final lap.

“It feels good but I think the whole weekend already, the car was very competitive,” said the Dutchman. “Of course, it’s always a bit of a question mark in terms of how it going to work out in qualifying when we know they are going to turn up a bit more power but we seemed to hang in there and the car actually got better and better throughout qualifying.

“I was very happy with it, very pleased. It was really enjoyable to drive. I didn’t really have any comments through quali, just keep the car going and give me new tires. That’s exactly what we did. Of course to get your first pole is very nice, but it’s what counts on Sundays always.”

While Verstappen acknowledges the immediate opportunity pole position creates in Sunday’s race, he says it also displays just how much progress Red Bull has made this season so far.

“We know that if you can start more upfront in the race it makes it a bit easier to control the race. We kept working really hard to improve the engine to get a bit more out if it in qualifying and I think that showed today. We were able to push it a bit more — but of course within the limits of not blowing up.

“We keep improving; there are positive things also coming in the upcoming races. Of course very happy to get my first pole position but also for the team, with how quickly we turned it around from the beginning of the season where we were clearly lacking and now we are definitely closing up. This weekend we were there, so that’s good.”