Max Verstappen Takes Pole In France

Jarrod Partridge

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Max VerstappenImage credit Red Bull Racing press office

Max Verstappen has given both his team and his championship hopes a big boost by taking pole at the French Grand Prix at a circuit that was tipped to suit his title rival Lewis Hamilton.

In a fantastic result for the team, Sergio Perez qualified in fourth, and will be on hand to turn up the pressure on Mercedes in the opening phase of the race.

Unexpected Pole For Verstappen

For Max Verstappen, it was a pleasant surprise to finish on pole, and gives him a psychological advantage going into the race.

“To be able to put it on pole here, on a track that has not been our favourite in terms of performance, is very promising and a big boost for the Team. We really did not expect it so I am of course very happy. Everything has been working really well all weekend and from today even compared to yesterday we made a good improvement through hard work and maximising set-up. I was confident after FP3 but you never really know where you are or what everyone else will bring in Qualifying, so we should be very happy with this performance so far. There is a long run to Turn 1 so we have to get a good start tomorrow and for sure they will be very close but our long run pace in FP2 looked good so I expect another tight battle,” said Verstappen.

Missed Opportunity For Perez

Although he will start on the second row and is right in the mix, Sergio Perez was somewhat disappointed it wasn’t a front-row lock-out for Red Bull.

“It wasn’t an ideal qualifying as I think locking out the front row was possible but unfortunately I made a mistake on my final Q3 run which cost me quite a bit of lap time. We were going in the right direction and I was feeling comfortable with the car but I just ran wide over the kerbs at Turn 12 and the lap was gone. But tomorrow is when it matters and we have better race pace than in qualifying so we should really be in the mix. It will be very close with Mercedes so I will be applying the pressure from the very first lap. My starts have been good so the plan is to get a couple of positions off the line and manage the race from there to try and bring home a 1-2 for the Team. I think the race will come down to tyre management so hopefully we can outperform them in that area but either way it’s going to be very entertaining for the fans and now I’m just looking forward to tomorrow!”

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