Verstappen admits he “left a bit of time on the table” after taking pole by 0.01s

2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen admitted he “left a bit of time on the table” after he narrowly claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race.

The Red Bull driver took pole with a 1’46.988 which was just 0.011 seconds quicker than Oscar Piastri who will join him on the front row.

Drivers began sprint race qualifying on the intermediate tyres, but conditions started to improve and the top 10 competed the final session on softs. Verstappen said these changing conditions made him approach his final lap of SQ3 with caution.

“It was pretty difficult,” he said. “It was quite similar to yesterday. We’re just a little bit later into qualifying that you could go to the slick tyres.

“We stayed calm, the gap was not as big as yesterday, but there was also no need to risk it all.

“My second sector was a bit careful. It was getting better and better, but still turn eight, nine was super-slippery. So I guess I left a bit of time on the table there.”

However Verstappen said he’s “still on pole” and “that’s what counts” ahead of the sprint race, where further rain is forecast.

“Let’s see, of course, in the afternoon if it’s going to rain again,” he added. “Try to have a good start and we’ll have clean, clear vision as well. I think that’s going to be very important if it’s wet.”

Verstappen was also fastest in yesterday’s qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix, where he enjoyed a much more comfortable margin of over eight tenths of a second. But a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change means he will start sixth tomorrow.

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2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...

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