Max breaks records with P2 in Spa qualifying
Published on 27 August 2016 by Stefan Meens
During qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen clinched two records; not only has he qualified higher than any other Dutchman, his second place makes him the youngest driver to qualify on the front row.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was the only driver quicker around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel completing the top four. Max's team mate, Daniel Ricciardo, will start the race from fifth. It is set to be an exciting (tactical) battle on Sunday with Max starting on the super-softs. Rosberg, the Ferraris and Ricciardo will all start on the softs.
On his way back to the pits after Q3, Max told the team how much he appreciated their efforts to get his RB12 ready – a gearbox issue prevented him from setting a time in FP3 – and how the fans gave him extra motivation.
In the press conference, the youngster added: “I'm very happy with this qualifying. To be this close to the Mercedes, on a track with this many straights, that's something we can be really happy with. The whole weekend has gone smooth, despite some issues this morning. In the end the car was very strong, especially in the second sector.”
Despite having set many records in his relatively young Formula 1 career, Max does not car much about statistics. “I'm just happy to start on the front row in front of so many of my fans.”
For Sunday, Red Bull have split strategies, a decision made by both the team and the drivers. Max: “The plan is to start on the super-softs so we'll have to come in a bit earlier than the others. Hopefully we can make it an exciting race!”
The significant factor about the second part of qualifying is that the tyres used for the fastest lap, are the ones the drivers will have to start the race on. Both Max and the two Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, opt to run the super-soft. Rosberg, Ricciardo and the Ferraris choose the soft Pirellis.
Q3 is a shoot-out between the remaining ten drivers, all on the fastest, super-soft tyre. The Dutch fans need not wait long to cheer. On his first of two runs, Max sets a blistering 1:46.893 on the clock, just over a tenth shy of Nico Rosberg's eventual pole lap.
On his first attemp, Daniel Ricciardo overshoots the first corner, the La Source hairpin, and trails his team mate three tenths at the end of the lap. The Australian is unable to produce a lap that beats Max's time and is squeezed of the second row by both Ferraris.
Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps - Saturday 27 August
RESULST QUALIFYING 01 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.019 1:46.999 1:46.744 12 02 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:48.407 1:47.163 1:46.893 12 03 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.912 1:47.664 1:46.910 13 04 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:47.802 1:47.944 1:47.108 14 05 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:48.407 1:48.027 1:47.216 12 06 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:48.106 1:47.485 1:47.407 12 07 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1:48.080 1:47.317 1:47.543 12 08 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1:48.655 1:47.918 1:47.612 12 09 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda 1:48.700 1:48.051 1:48.114 15 10 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:47.738 1:47.667 1:48.263 12 11 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:48.751 1:48.316 12 12 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:48.800 1:48.485 12 13 21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas Ferrari 1:48.748 1:48.598 12 14 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:48.901 1:48.888 12 15 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:48.876 1:49.038 9 16 94 Pascal Wehrlein MRT Mercedes 1:48.554 1:49.320 11 17 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari 1:48.949 6 18 31 Esteban Ocon MRT Mercedes 1:49.050 7 19 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:49.058 6 20 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:49.071 6 21 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:50.033 4 NC 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda DNS 1