Verstappen on taking his first F1-pole: 'One of my best qualifying'
Published on 03 August 2019 by Mike Motilall
Max Verstappen took his first ever career pole on the Hungaroring today. The Dutchman lapped the track in a 1:14.572 and will be therefor starting the Hungarian Grand Prix from the front row on pole position. With the time Verstappen set his pole with he also took home the track record.
“It feels good. I think the whole weekend already the car was very competitive”, says a very happy Max after qualifying. “Of course there’s always a bit of a question mark how it’s going to work out in qualifying when we know that they can 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 throughout qualifying.”
Verstappen takes us along on his final run: “The final lap was on the limit and I must say that this has been one of my best qualifying. Of course that is easy to say when you are on pole, but apart from a couple of hundredths or thousandths that are always in a corner, it was pretty perfect.”
After seven wins, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver has now also taken his first pole position. How important was this? “For me it never really mattered”, says Max. I knew it was a matter of time. You need a bit of luck sometimes as well. Of course, I made mistakes myself to miss a pole position shot. And today we got it, so very happy with that.” Verstappen realizes that despite his pole today, the points are given only tomorrow: “It is of course very nice to take your first pole, but Sunday is what counts.”
Red Bull have, since the start of the season in Australia, taken some major steps to close the gap to the top. The gap is getting smaller, albeit said that there is still a gap according to Max: “We made good gains with the engine, but we’re not where we want to be and I think everybody knows that. But we are pushing hard and we are improving and we are getting close to Mercedes and Ferrari. There are positive things also coming in the upcoming races.
The car itself has also been improved: “With the chassis I think since Austria where we introduced a few crucial updates I think the car has been a lot better. From there onwards we kept bringing new parts. Maybe not as major as that one but it always gave me more of a balanced feeling in the car. And that’s exactly what we were looking. I guess it shows today on a track where you need a lot of downforce that the car was working really well.”
Can the Dutchman call himself the favourite for the coming races? “I don’t know. We first have the summer break so honestly I’m not thinking about that yet. I feel good. I think the last few races, even on tracks where I didn’t expect to be like really, really competitive we were still there so anything can happen, to be honest.”