Max Verstappen Takes Wet And Wild Spa Pole

Belgian GP

On a wet and wild afternoon at Spa, Max Verstappen has claimed pole position as he looks to get the second half of the 2021 Formula 1 season off to the best possible start.

Pole For Max Verstappen

With qualifying stopped due to a bad crash from Lando Norris, Max Verstappen held his nerve through the delays to claim pole in Belgium.

“I am very happy with pole position here at a home Grand Prix, but it was not easy out there. It was very hard to nail a lap, I was just trying to find the right lines at the right times and judging how fast to go into corners after such a long red flag was tricky. It was so important to get the tyres up to temperature because that could give you a few seconds of lap time around a long track like this. Tomorrow we don’t know if it will be a dry or wet start, I think if it’s wet I don’t mind if I start first because at least I should have clear vision but I just hope that we have a good and clean start. I also hope that Lando is feeling okay and that he doesn’t have any serious injuries because that didn’t look like a good impact at all, he’s a good friend of mine so I hope he can race tomorrow,” said Verstappen.

2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Max Verstappen (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)
2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday – Max Verstappen (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)

Disappointment For Sergio Perez

While his teammate was able to make the most of the wet conditions, it was a disappointing session for Sergio Perez, who had to settle for seventh.

“I’m very disappointed with my qualifying as our car was performing well, there was plenty of pace in it and a much better position was possible today. With the changing weather conditions it was tough out there and so the final lap was going to be critical but unfortunately I wasn’t able to improve. It’s a shame but I’m still looking forward to tomorrow as with the weather anything can happen and so there’s plenty of opportunities. The Team is doing a strong job and provided we can stay out of trouble tomorrow then we should be in pretty good shape and able to fight for a strong result. I’m also pleased to see Lando was able to get out of the car after his accident and hope he’s okay. We discussed Eau Rouge in the drivers’ meeting on Friday and raised our concerns so I really hope to see some solutions for next year. It’s something that we definitely have to improve because in conditions like today, if we have a wet race tomorrow, it’s not a place where drivers want to have contact, especially considering it is a blind spot,” added Perez.

Red Bull’s First Spa Pole In A Decade

With their first pole at Spa in 10 years, team boss Christian Horner was delighted as his team looks to get back to winning ways.

“It was a good session and a strong qualifying for us with our first pole position at Spa for 10 years. Both drivers did a great job, Max’s ninth pole, seventh for Checo and on our 50th Grand Prix with Honda as well, so it was a fantastic performance on a very difficult day.  Max has always been very strong in the wet, he made a mistake on his first lap but absolutely nailed his second lap, so it is now crucial that we convert this into good points tomorrow.  It looks like the weather could be similar to today, but at least if it is wet we have some visibility by starting at the front and both drivers have managed to retain a set of inters.  I think we are the only team in the top 10 to have managed that, so we have that up our sleeve. More importantly however it was a relief to see Lando walk away from his big accident at the beginning of Q3 and hopefully he is able to race tomorrow.”

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