Max Verstappen said Red Bull‘s decision to send him out at the start of Q3 was crucial in earning him pole position for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.
Verstappen claimed pole ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso, in a chaotic and soaking qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The result was decided early in Q3 as Oscar Piastri crashed with seven minutes to go and the rain intensified from there, meaning no one could improve in the closing stages.
“In Q3 it kept on raining so it was very important to be out there quickly and get the laps in,” Verstappen said.
“Of course, I had to wait a long time at the end of the pit lane, tyres are cold, but it does give me clean air and good vision which I guess also helped to put the lap in.
“Our radar said that it was continuing to rain throughout Q3, so we really wanted to be up front and just wait.”
Verstappen’s secret to wet-weather mastery
Verstappen‘s been renowned as one of the best wet-weather drivers in Formula 1 ever since his stunning drive in the 2016 Brazilian GP.
And he attributed that success to his father Jos Verstappen, who raced 106 times in F1 in the 1990s and 2000s, achieving two podiums for Bennetton in 1994.
“In general it helps if you are confident in the wet but it’s a lot of feeling as well, knowing how to drive it, what lines to take, it’s difficult to fully explain why that happens,” Max said.
“But it’s something you have been learning since a little kid, I remember back in the go-karting days, my dad was literally standing on the track telling me where to drive in the wet because I think he was also quite decent in the wet.”
And then at one point understanding yourself what is going on and what you have to do, how to drive fast in, in the wet.