Verstappen’s maiden F1 pole ‘a matter of time’
Max Verstappen has described his first Formula 1 pole position as “a matter of time” after the seven-time race winner took 93 rounds to achieve it.
Verstappen put his Red Bull Honda on pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix by just 0.018s in the end and will line up with one Mercedes, of Valtteri Bottas, alongside and the other, of Lewis Hamilton, just behind him on the grid.
When asked what his main emotion was after finally breaking his duck, the 21-year-old mused, “That people will stop asking me that question.
“For me it never really mattered. I knew it was a matter of time, you need luck sometimes as well. Of course, I made mistakes to miss the pole position shot but today we got that so I’m very happy with that.
“It’s incredible. The car felt good all weekend and then, of course you know it’s always going to be hard in qualifying, but yeah we managed to do it. A big thank you to the team, the car was flying out there in qualifying, it was incredible.
“I’m very happy about today. There is still a race to do and that’s at the end of the day the most important, but for me today was an important one. It’s a very nice one and also a great one for the team.”
Verstappen delivered Honda’s first race win since 2006 when he took out the Austrian Grand Prix at the end of June.
The Dutchman’s pole at the Hungaroring is also the Japanese marque’s first since that same season, when Jenson Button topped qualifying for Round 3 at Albert Park.
Verstappen paid tribute to the work from both Honda and his team to enable the feat.
“We kept working really hard to improve the engine, to get a bit more out of it in qualifying, and I think that showed again today, that we were able to push it a bit more but of course within the limits of not blowing up,” he said.
“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 with the team, how quickly we turn things around from the beginning of the year where we were clearly lacking and now we are definitely closing up.
“And this weekend we were there, so that was good.”
Race start is tonight at 2310 AEST.