Max Verstappen: RB19 a car “you can really push it to the limit”

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Max Verstappen secured his first ever pole position in Barcelona after running in very mixed weather conditions. The Dutch driver, who had taken here his first ever Formula 1 race win in 2016, was only P9 in Q1 as he ran on a single set of tyres.

However, he only needed one run to secure pole position in Q3, signing off a 1:12.272s and backing out of another attempt later.

In the post-qualifying press conference the reigning champion discussed how he earned his very impressive track position for the actual race tomorrow:

“The car was really good, of course qualifying started off a bit tricky with the weather but once it started to dry out and now in Q3 as well the car was unreal. It was very enjoyable to drive today.”

The championship leader also admitted that winning again the Spanish GP would hold a lot of sentimental value to him:

“I love coming to Barcelona in general, I love the track and I love the fans, they really love racing. I have a lot of great memories here, hopefully tomorrow we can add another one,” concluded the Dutch driver.

Photo credits: Red Bull Racing

Verstappen went into more detail afterwards, highlighting the significance of his first attempt and the great deal of potential his second attempt held before his race engineer told him to abort:

“Going into Q3, I knew there was quite a bit of potential left in the car, so I could finally push it to the limit in that first run, and the car was really quick. Then of course we went out again for the second run and that would have been even better. I think GP got a bit excited and told me to abort!”

Asked on the reason behind the abrupt interruption of the lap, the two times world champion mentioned tyre saving as its main cause:

“It was just to save the tyres, maybe we need it tomorrow, we don’t know. We already said that in the garage that if they [the other drivers] wouldn’t be in front of me, then maybe we wouldn’t complete the lap – so that’s what we did.”

He also praised his challenger, the RB19, and its easiness to drive, adding that he didn’t have to tweak too much while working on his race setup: “I have to say, from the start, the car was pretty good. I only made like tiny little adjustments, but I felt comfortable straight away – long runs, short runs.

“It’s never easy to get to the limit in a Formula 1 car, but it’s been very enjoyable to drive, it gives me a lot of confidence and when you have all that, you can really push it to the limit,” he remarked.