Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen will start on the front row for the third time in his Formula 1 career at tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix having qualified second, 0.323 seconds behind pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
The Dutchman topped Saturday’s Free Practice session with a lap time of 1:41.829s but improved by just over two-seconds in Q3 to pip his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to join Vettel on the front row.
“All weekend has been a good build up, getting faster and faster and finding a smooth rhythm so to come away with second is a really good result,” said Verstappen.
With many, including Verstappen coming close to and even hitting the Marina Bay circuit’s concrete walls, Verstappen admits he took risks behind the wheel to maximise his chances.
“I took a little bit of risk to put down a good lap as we had predicted the others would improve from yesterday and this morning’s sessions. Perhaps there was a bit of time in the last sector to find but in general I am very pleased with how the car and I performed.
“That was the best balance in terms of set-up I have had with the car in Qualifying all year and that is a big positive. My quickest time was more or less the maximum I could do, Sebastian just had an even better lap.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s race, Verstappen believes he is in with a chance of his first victory of the year, but knows Scuderia Ferrari will be tough to beat.
“Race pace is good so we have a chance tomorrow but it looks like Ferrari have found quite a lot. The start will be important and maybe if there are a couple of safety cars that could impact the result too.”