Red Bull Ecstatic With Max Verstappen’s Pole After Concerns of ‘A Tenths Worth of Damage’

Published 03/27/2021, 1:13 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Max Verstappen has given himself and Red Bull a dream start to the 2021 F1 season. The Dutchman was in top form on Saturday as he belted one hot lap after another, saving his best for last.

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Eventually, that final lap was good enough to put him in on pole for the season opener in Bahrain. However, early during Q1 Verstappen did suffer floor damage, making his team think that it could compromise their chances of getting a pole.

At the post-qualifying press conference, Team Principal Christian Horner revealed that they were concerned about the damage to Max’s car.

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Horner said, “He smacked the bottom of the car pretty hard. Because they run so low, we’ve lost a couple of bits of carbon under the front of the car.

“Maybe he was carrying about a tenths worth of damage. And you think when in Q1, when it’s not that pressured then, ‘oh no not to pick up that damage.’ But he has handled that incredibly well.”

The fact that Verstappen managed to take pole despite that damage makes the achievement all the more impressive. Interestingly, this was only Max’s 4th pole.

It goes to show that despite not always being the fastest man on Saturday, Verstappen can certainly make up for it on a Sunday.

Verstappen’s performance will have certainly made Red Bull fans happy. However, there was also a certain bit of gloom thanks to Sergio Perez.

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Formula One F1. Pre-Season Testing. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Dutchman’s newest teammate had a day to forget. Checo struggled for pace in the second qualifying session on the medium tires.

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The Mexican failed to get out of Q2 and will start the race in a lowly P11. Perez wasn’t the only driver who had a day to forget, though.

That result for Checo leaves Verstappen devoid of any help in the front. Quite often Max has played a lone wolf at the front of the grid.

Yet again he will have to face the two Mercedes cars by himself. That’ll leave him and Red Bull prone to the Silver Arrows’ tactics.

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The season opener was billed to be an entertaining race. So far, the qualifying session has delivered the thrill. Will the race day be able to match it? We shall soon find out.

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Ronan Carvalho

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Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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