History was made as Max Verstappen finally got the monkey off his back and snatched his maiden pole. In the process, he became the 100th pole-sitter in Formula One and he couldn’t have been happier. The Dutchman will start the race ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and the two Ferraris.
The team crowed on the radio, “Better late than never”, as Verstappen had never started right up front. Naturally, Twitter was ecstatic and congratulations poured in for the young Red Bull driver.
Rather poetically, he grabbed pole at the same circuit that gave his father, Jos Verstappen his maiden podium in 1994. The 21-year-old Dutch driver’s first pole came in just his 94th Grand Prix appearance after seven wins.
Verstappen’s best lap in one minute and 14.572 seconds was just 0.018 beyond the reach of Bottas with Hamilton a close third – ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel respectively.
Meanwhile, his teammate, Pierre Gasly was sixth in the second Red Bull ahead of British rookie Lando Norris and his resurgent McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz. Kimi Raikkonen brought up the tail of the top 10 behind the Haas F1 car of Romain Grosjean.
Speaking in the post-race interview, an ecstatic Max Verstappen exclaimed, “It’s incredible.”
“I am very happy! There’s still a race to do and at the end of the day, it is the most important, but it’s very nice and it is great for all the team.”
Naturally, Valtteri Bottas was gutted to miss out and said: “It’s obviously very close with Max. They’ve (Red Bull) been very quick, but as always, there is still the race to come.”
Meanwhile, third placed man, Lewis Hamilton said: “Max did a great job and so did Valtteri, but we’re in a great position to win – and I am always up for a fight.”