Verstappen Grabs Pole

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

18 July 2021

Dutchman wins new F1 Sprint race at sunny Silverstone on Saturday.

Max Verstappen got the better of Lewis Hamilton off the start line during Saturday’s new F1 Sprint race at Silverstone to claim pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

The Dutchman finished second to the Mercedes driver in Friday’s traditional qualifying session, however got the jump on the Briton when the lights went out to pull clear and win by over a second after 17 laps.

Red Bull Racing Honda teammate Sergio Pérez suffered a big spin and will start from the back of the grid, while Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda finished 12th and 16th respectively.


Red Bull Racing Honda

“That was good fun. I’m of course happy to score the three points and it’s quite funny to have a pole position from the race as well but we will take it. Around here it is difficult to pass but we had a good start and a good fight with Lewis on the first lap. From then we tried to do our own pace but we were pushing each other hard right to the end as you could see the tyres were blistering which we all had to manage. Starting the race on lower fuel we could really push the cars hard through the fast corners, lap after lap, which means it is naturally hard on tyres but we all have the same to watch out for. We can’t touch the cars and we learnt that it is very close again with us and Mercedes. It seems that we are very quick in the corners and they are quicker on the straights so it’s going to be a really exciting battle and the Team did a great job to manage the new format. I also want to say a big thank you to the fans. I know they are mainly here for the British drivers but it is still great to see them here cheering and all I want is a good battle with Lewis and everyone else which should keep the fans entertained.”

“It’s a real shame to have to retire from the sprint race as the car felt quite good. It was a poor day for me and I can only say sorry to the Team as I lost the rear of the car while battling with Lando which ruined our day. I was in the middle of the corner, already picking up quite a lot of throttle and I think I got caught in a bit of dirty air and became a passenger really early in the corner. I avoided any contact but after the spin we had too much vibration on the tyres and that was it. The Team were worried about the damage that could be caused with the vibrations, and there wasn’t anything more to gain, so they made the decision to retire the car. We’re at the back of the grid and it’s not easy to overtake here, but we look like we have a lot of pace in the car so you can be sure I will be pushing hard to score as many points as possible. It’s a low point for me, but it is a new day and I look forward to seeing what we can do.”

“It’s fantastic to be starting on pole for the British Grand Prix, which was achieved in a different way with Max winning the first ever sprint qualifying race. This marks our first pole at Silverstone since 2011 and breaks the Mercedes nine-year pole position streak. The race start was crucial for us and Max got a great launch off the line. We knew Lewis was particularly strong in Sector 1 so staying ahead down the main straight was particularly important for us, which he did and maintained the lead until the flag. It’s just a shame that we haven’t got Checo up there as well following that high-speed spin when he lost the rear in the dirty air. Thankfully Checo avoided the wall but the level of vibrations were so high we opted to retire him in order to fully check the car over and complete the necessary safety checks, once permission is granted, before the race. You can see there was very little between us and Mercedes, we were quicker in the corners where they were mighty in a straight line. The temperatures look set to soar and next Grand Prix won’t be a repeat in terms of tyre wear. The higher fuel loads at the start of the race mean the cornering speeds will be slightly lower, giving the tyres an easier workout in the corners at the beginning of the race, so it will be interesting to see how that affects things. It’s fantastic to be starting on pole position and I hope the fans enjoyed the action and a different format of racing.”