Verstappen explains how he pulled off amazing final qualifying lap in Monaco

A sensational final sector on the final qualifying run in Monaco secured pole position for Max Verstappen


After an unreal final sector on his final qualifying run at the 2023 Monaco GP, Max Verstappen was almost at odds to explain how he managed to pull three tenths out the bag and put his Red Bull on pole position for Sunday’s race. 

Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin looked to have secured first spot on the grid in Monaco, as Verstappen was around three tenths down on his time going into the final sector. Even the Aston Martin garage thought the Spaniard had done it, but Verstappen crossed the line and was 0.084s ahead. 

“Touch a few walls, car wheels and walls,” Verstappen told select members of the press, including

“I was always quite quick in the last sector. Definitely pushed a bit harder in the in the last lap.

“I think my out lap wasn’t ideal. I had to drive a little bit slower than I would have liked because unfortunately there were a few cars in front of me who I think aborted maybe and then went again. 

“So, definitely wasn’t an ideal start to lap so maybe that’s what my Sector 1 one was a little bit down and then it all started to come up. 

“Because it’s all about confidence as well around here, you know, when you don’t feel like the tires are fully ready, you don’t hit the brakes as hard into turn one and everything is a little bit compromised. 

“So a lot of things come into play to have a perfect lap here.”

Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of Red Bull celebrates at 2023 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen’s best ever F1 qualifying lap?

With many suggesting this is Verstappen’s best ever qualifying lap, the Dutchman is not of the same opinion. Instead happier to get his first pole at the Monaco GP. 

“No, I don’t think so,” Verstappen said, “but it was good enough. I’m just happy to get my first poll here. 

“It’s always super hectic. We also had clean running in Q3 as well. So that was nice for everyone to just push to the limit. I struggled a bit to put it in the first lap, with warm up with the tyres and just putting it all together, all the sectors. 

“I knew that the last lap I had to do it because they improved. I also knew going into the last sector I was down on them. So I had to push flat out in the last sector risk everything to get back to lap time. And luckily we did.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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