Max Verstappen conquers his third pole of the season, his first back-to-back pole. The Dutchman has been the fastest on track all weekend long, apart from the last free practice session when Lewis Hamilton topped the standings.
The Red Bull driver clocked a fastest time of 1.03.841s, two tenths faster than Valtteri Bottas. The Finn earned a three grid place penalty on Friday, giving his front row placement to title rival Lewis Hamilton. Both Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will be starting on medium in the top 10. It is going to be another tight battle at the start into turn one, with Max and Lewis fighting for victory. The Dutchman is actually first in the standings and aims to win in Red Bull's own circuit: this is, in fact, the team's first pole position at the Red Bull Ring since its comeback in the calendar in 2014.
“It is of course a great result to take the Team’s first pole position at our home track and I feel very good about that - said Max - we made a big step forward in qualifying this year and although the car has been competitive and pretty easy to set-up all weekend we still made some good changes for qualifying.
"From my side, the first lap in Q3 felt pretty good. Around here you don’t have many corners but it is actually quite hard to nail the lap because of the braking up to Turn 3 and 4 where it is easy to lose a tenth if you make a tiny mistake - he explained - when I started driving in F1 this was always one of the tracks that I felt good at and as there aren’t many corners the driver can make a big difference, which I like. Some tracks are pretty straight forward on how you take corners but here there are a few options for that which makes it more enjoyable.
"I expect it will be super tight again tomorrow. We know Mercedes have a strong race car and they are pretty good on the tyres so it will be very close, which I think is also good for the fans and the way everyone likes it.”