Max Verstappen: “To be second on the grid is fantastic”

Max Verstappen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Max Verstappen broke another record as he became the youngest driver to secure a front row grid slot as he claimed second position on the grid for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman has received the support of many of his fans this weekend in what is the closest thing he has to a home Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, and with Verstappen being born in Belgium, many of those from the host country are also in his corner.

Nico Rosberg denied Verstappen the pole position by 0.149 seconds, but the Red Bull Racing driver was delighted to clinch P2, and although he knows he will probably need to pit earlier than some of his rivals as he will start on the Supersoft tyre compared to the Soft of Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, he still feels he is contention for a good race on Sunday.

“It’s a great feeling,” admitted Verstappen. “As soon as I crossed the line in Q3 on my fastest lap, I could see the fans going really wild so I knew it was a good lap.

“It’s been already an amazing weekend. To see so many fans around the track and feel their support is incredible and I’ve been enjoying the whole week a lot, so to be second on the grid is fantastic.

“It would have been very difficult to get pole position. The chance is always there if you are that close and in sector two we were very strong, but we were missing some top speed.

“Tomorrow will be very interesting with the different strategies between us, Mercedes and Ferrari so I think it’ll be a good fight. Hopefully the supersofts will give me a bit more grip in the first few laps and then for sure I will drop off a bit but that’s my strategy.

“I will probably have to pit a bit earlier but we have to wait and see how the race goes.”

Verstappen also took time to praise his team after they worked hard to solve a gearbox issue on his RB12 that saw him unable to set a time in final practice.

“Big thanks to the team for such a quick turnaround and working so hard on getting me out on time in Qualifying,” finished Verstappen.