Verstappen says tense exchange with engineer “turned him on” after claiming first back-to-back posts
Max Verstappen won the first consecutive pole position of his career with a fantastic race in qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix – the Dutchman said after the session that friction with engineer GianPiero Lambiase inspired him to take P1 on the Red Bull track.
Verstappen completed two laps in Q3 which would have been enough for pole position. But ultimately it was his first lap in the session that saw him stop qualifying with a 1m 03.841s, giving him pole position from Valtteri Bottas by 0.194s (although Bottas will be relegated to P5 on the grid after the penalty for his stand FP2 lane rotation).
QUALIFICATION: Verstappen pushes back Mercedes duo to win Styrian GP pole on Red Bull home soil
And speaking after qualifying, Verstappen spoke of some discord between himself and engineer Lambiase in Q2 that ultimately spilled his blood for his assault races in Q3, after Verstappen abandoned a lap at the end of the race. second segment of qualifications.
“I think my engineer actually fired me [for Q3]”said Verstappen.” He was upset that I didn’t go around the track on the soft [in Q2], so he came on the radio when I boxed and he said, “I know you got held up on turn 1, but you should have pushed on the lap to see how the tires were.” I didn’t answer, but I think secretly on the inside it made me push a little harder on that first run in Q3!
He pushed harder, with Verstappen continuing his provisional lap on pole in Q3 with a second launched lap of 1m 03.919s, which although slower, would still have been sufficient for pole. And the Dutch driver couldn’t hide his joy at winning Red Bull’s very first Red Bull Ring pole, as well as his very first consecutive pole and his team’s first since 2013.
“It was a great weekend,” said Verstappen. “Once again in qualifying, the car was really fun to drive. It was not easy to deal with the traffic in the last corners to get a clean run, but I think the first lap in Q3 was pretty good in the end. I had a good first sector and of course super happy to be on pole here at home. It’s always nice to see a Red Bull car first here.
HIGHLIGHTS: Watch all the action as Verstappen won pole for the Styrian Grand Prix
“Of course I expect tomorrow to be tight,” added Verstappen, who thanks to Bottas’ penalty will start alongside title rival Lewis Hamilton. “But I think that’s what everyone loves, so I’m looking forward to it.
2021 Styrian GP qualifying: Verstappen in pole position at Red Bull Ring
“So far on the long runs we’ve been very close so we’ll have to see over a full race distance how it works. But I expect it to be very close … It’s never easy. Sometimes I wish it was easy. But in the end, it’s good for the race. And I’m sure tomorrow will be very tight so I hope it will be as interesting as in France.
Meanwhile, Verstappen hinted that Red Bull’s increase in pace this year in qualifying was simply due to an improved Honda powertrain, Verstappen joking at the post-qualifying press conference: A feeling of the fin difference. back that we use, and then I’ll give it to each reporter.
AS IT HAPPENED – Qualifications in Styria
“I get these questions [for] two or three weeks now that we’re really fast in the straight, and yes, but look at our rear wing… Honda sure did a great job compared to last year, but from our first engine to the engine that we have in the car now, it’s about reliability improvements and not a clear advantage over pure horsepower. So I’m going to turn on my printer next time and I’ll put in some pictures … “
Verstappen, meanwhile, heads to the Styrian Grand Prix with a 12-point gap over Hamilton, Red Bull with 37 points ahead of Mercedes among manufacturers.