Max Verstappen is relieved that he was able to live up to Red Bull Racing’s expectations on Saturday with the fastest time in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. It is the first time that the Dutchman is allowed to start the opening race of the season at pole position.
“We had a good test week, but of course that gives no guarantees. The car has been working very well all weekend and it is a real pleasure to drive it”, said a satisfied Verstappen in an initial reaction to qualifying.
The 23-year-old Verstappen already set the fastest time in the first three free practice sessions and was therefore the favorite to take pole in Bahrain, but it was all close together in Q3. Verstappen set the tone in the decisive session by setting the fastest time in his first lap, but he was not very satisfied with that.
“My first lap in Q3 was not great. There was more to it, but I had to be careful with the tires because of the temperature,” said Verstappen, who did improve and triumphed beautifully with a time of 1.28.997. “The car is just doing really well, so this is a great start.”
Verstappen was the only driver to dive under a minute and 29 seconds. He trumped Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (second) and Valtteri Bottas (third). In the whole of last season, Mercedes grabbed pole position in just two races.
Source site www.nu.nl