Max Verstappen ensured he will start the Russian Grand Prix on the front row after a stunning final flying lap during an eventful qualifying session. The 22-year-old produced his best run as Q3 came to an end, edging ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas to secure second place on the grid.
The Dutch driver, who will begin the race on medium tyres, will line up alongside championship leader Lewis Hamilon. Meanwhile, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team-mate Alex Albon will start in 10th place.
Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly will start alongside Albon on the fifth row after securing ninth place with an excellent run in Q2. Team-mate Daniil Kyvat will begin Sunday’s race from 12th position, lining up alongside the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
“P2 was very unexpected and I don’t say this often but I think this was one of my best ever qualifying laps and it felt really good. I was struggling a bit in Q1 and Q2 with the balance of the car and we made some small improvements to stabilise everything and in Q3, especially on the second run, they worked and the lap was good. Of course we want to fight for pole and wins but this year it is not possible all the time, so then to be able to split the two Mercedes cars is very satisfying and I’m happy to be on the front row here.
I’m starting on the dirty side of the grid which does make a difference with the initial launch but I’m also on the medium tyre which is the best way for us. If we can have a decent start, the tow effect is very big so who knows what can happen into Turn Two. I think the Mercedes does still have more overall pace so they will be hard to beat but I’m happy with today and I think we really extracted more than we thought was possible and we can be very happy with that.”, said M. Verstappen.
By: Red Bull Pool