Maiden Monaco pole for Verstappen as he “risked it all”

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Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

As is usually the case, the streets of Monaco have once again produced a qualifying session to remember. With a time of 1’11.365, two-time world champion Max Verstappen right at the last moment clinched his first ever pole position at Monaco, denying an energised Fernando Alonso who had looked set to be the man at the front for tomorrow’s race.

Coming out of sector 2 he was down two tenths of a second on the Spaniard, but after a storming third sector he grabbed pole out of the Aston Martin driver’s grasp, ultimately faster by a razor thin margin of less than a tenth of second.

He may have expected to be fighting it out for pole with last year’s winner Sergio Perez but Verstappen’s teammate went into the barriers at turn one in the first qualifying session, relegating himself to start at the back and pretty much denying himself any hope of repeating his victory from last year.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

The double world champion wasn’t overly happy with how things progressed on the tight circuit around the yacht filled marina yesterday, but now sitting on pole for tomorrow’s Grand Prix, he felt differently:

“Very happy, we knew this would be a little bit of a struggle for us this weekend to get everything together, yesterday wasn’t the best start but in the end we kept on improving, kept getting better but then in qualifying you need to go all out and risk it all. My first sector wasn’t ideal on my final lap. I think turn one was a bit cautious but then I knew that I was behind so the last sector I just gave it everything I had, clipped a few barriers but of course very happy to be on pole here for the first time.”

And clip those barriers he did, leaving nothing on the table and making for thrilling watching as the Dutchman flung his RB19 through the swimming pool section as those looking on must have winced at how close he came to ending his qualifying with a damaged car. But that is in the past, and now it’s all eyes on tomorrow for the Red Bull driver:

“We need a clean start, it’s a short run to turn one and you know in Monaco anything can happen right? Safety car, rain – you name it. I think race pace wise the car is quick so that is not the problem but just need to keep it clean and calm.”

That clean start will be crucial as the man in the green car alongside him will take any opportunity to pounce and deliver a first win for Aston Martin on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool