Verstappen: Engineer "fired me up" for Styrian F1 pole lap

Max Verstappen reckons his Red Bull Formula 1 engineer being "upset" at his late Q2 tactics "fired me up" to secure Styrian Grand Prix pole on his first Q3 lap.

Verstappen: Engineer "fired me up" for Styrian F1 pole lap

Verstappen said after taking pole for last weekend's French GP that "you're always a tiny bit under the potential in your first [Q3] run" when drivers are tasked with getting through Q2 on the medium tyres to gain a race strategy advantage before switching back to the softs for Q3.

After he did that again in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday – as did Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the only other Q3 runners to try and make it through on the harder compound – Motorsport.com asked Verstappen in the post-session press conference if that transfer had been different this time around.

But Verstappen had a different explanation for why his pole-winning time, a 1m03.841s, came on his first run in Q3 (although the 1m03.919s he set on his second run would also have been good enough to claim his sixth F1 career pole), which centred on the lap he was supposed to complete back on the soft tyres at the end of Q2.

Read Also:

Red Bull and Mercedes typically send their drivers back out on softs for the final runs in the middle segment of qualifying just in case they are in danger of being knocked out based on their times set on harder rubber and so they can get their eyes in ahead of the top 10 shootout.

On that run on Saturday, Verstappen quickly backed off exiting Turn 1 because he encountered traffic as he braked on the racing line, which he said led to a dressing down from engineer Gianpiero Lambiase when he returned to the Red Bull garage to prepare for Q3.

"I think my engineer actually fired me up on that one because he was upset that I didn't do the sighter lap on the softs," Verstappen said. "He came on the radio when I boxed and he was like 'I know you were held up into Turn 1, but you should have pushed for the lap to see how the tyres worked'.

"I didn't answer him, but I think secretly inside it did fire me up to push a bit harder on that first run in Q3."

When asked how well he felt he had performed to take his second pole in succession and third overall in 2021, Verstappen replied: "Yeah, I think it clicked quite well in qualifying – we made a few little adjustments and it seemed like that was a good step forwards.

[It was just about] getting through the tyres, making sure that you would qualify on the medium in Q2 – because the gaps around here with all the other teams as well, are quite small.

"So it was not super easy to get through Q2 with that tyre. But we managed to do that. [I'm] Pretty pleased in Q3 – that first lap was pretty good.

"My second run was a little bit worse, just because I was the last one in the train, so my tyres I think were just a little bit too cold to start the lap. But nevertheless it was a good qualifying."

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff ‘surprised’ by Red Bull protest over F1 engine questions

Previous article

Wolff ‘surprised’ by Red Bull protest over F1 engine questions

Next article

Ricciardo mystified by lack of qualifying pace in Styrian GP

Ricciardo mystified by lack of qualifying pace in Styrian GP
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021