Verstappen surprised by pole: "We were just too slow then"

19-06-2021 17:55 | Updated: 19-06-2021 18:55
Verstappen surprised by pole: We were just too slow then

Max Verstappen managed to hold off both Mercedes drivers in a very strong qualifying session. Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas came close to the Dutchman in their final runs, but a Red Bull Racing driver being on pole was by no means a certainty prior to this weekend.

"This is quite surprising," Verstappen told De Telegraaf. "This is a nice boost for the whole team and we really forced it ourselves." The past two races, Red Bull's good performance could still be blamed on the character of the street circuits in Monaco and Baku. That things are now going well on a 'normal' circuit is a good sign for the rest of the season.

"In Barcelona it felt very different, we were just too slow and the speed wasn't there. I did a very good lap in qualifying then. Now also, but then you're also right in front," said Verstappen, who expects it will still be close in the race.

Honda engine no more powerful than Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, blames his deficit on the powerful Honda engine, but according to Verstappen that is not what makes the difference. "You can clearly see that we are driving with less downforce. Of course we also have a good engine, but with our wing set-up it is clear that we are actually gaining time on the straight."

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