Max Verstappen felt he had blown his chances of taking pole position for Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix after making a mistake into Turn 1.
With track conditions drying throughout, Verstappen had a fight on his hands for pole position with McLaren’s Lando Norris, but the reigning world champion came out on top, securing a hat-trick of poles in Zandvoort.
“It was quite slippery out there,” Verstappen told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “It was easy to make a mistake, especially on the new tyres.
“Especially on the intermediates in the beginning, to get the temperature in and get going was a bit difficult. You had to do a few laps to get into a rhythm and have the tires up to temperature.
“I started the lap, went into Turn 1 and thought, ‘Oh, that’s it.’ I braked too late. So, probably, Turn 1 wasn’t fantastic. But I think the lap was okay. I got good grip from the car.”
Albon’s heroics good for the sport
Behind Verstappen and Norris, the story of Qualifying was Alex Albon, who qualified an excellent fourth for Williams, securing the team’s first second-row start since the 2021 Russian GP.
Logan Sargeant secured his first top 10 start of his Formula 1 career, and Williams’ first double Q3 appearance before a crash early into Q3 cut short his session.
“They have been quick all weekend,” said Verstappen. “They’ve been quick in the wet, quick in the dry, so that’s very impressive to see, and I mean, that’s great for the sport as well, right?
“More teams are up there, and [I am] very happy for Alex too. He’s a great guy. He was my teammate before. We always had a good time, and yeah, very happy for him to be up here.
“For at least this weekend, they have a competitive car.”