Verstappen: Upset engineer "fired me up" for Styrian GP pole lap

Max Verstappen reckons his Red Bull Formula 1 engineer being "upset" at his late Q2 tactics "fired me up" to secure Styrian Grand Prix pole on his first Q3 lap.

Verstappen: Upset engineer "fired me up" for Styrian GP pole lap

Verstappen said after taking pole for last weekend's French GP that "you're always a tiny bit under the potential in your first [Q3] run" when drivers are tasked with getting through Q2 on the medium tyres to gain a race strategy advantage before switching back to the softs for Q3.

After he did that again in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday – as did Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the only other Q3 runners to try and make it through on the harder compound – Autosport asked Verstappen in the post-session press conference if that transfer had been different this time around.

But Verstappen had a different explanation for why his pole-winning time, a 1m03.841s, came on his first run in Q3 (although the 1m03.919s he set on his second run would also have been good enough to claim his sixth F1 career pole), which centred on the lap he was supposed to complete back on the soft tyres at the end of Q2.

Red Bull and Mercedes typically send their drivers back out on softs for the final runs in the middle segment of qualifying just in case they are in danger of being knocked out based on their times set on harder rubber and so they can get their eyes in ahead of the top 10 shootout.

On that run on Saturday, Verstappen quickly backed off exiting Turn 1 because he encountered traffic as he braked on the racing line, which he said led to a dressing down from engineer Gianpiero Lambiase when he returned to the Red Bull garage to prepare for Q3.

"I think my engineer actually fired me up on that one because he was upset that I didn't do the sighter lap on the softs," Verstappen said.

"He came on the radio when I boxed and he was like, 'I know you were held up into Turn 1, but you should have pushed for the lap to see how the tyres worked'.

"I didn't answer him, but I think secretly inside it did fire me up to push a bit harder on that first run in Q3."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

When asked how well he felt he had performed to take his second pole in succession and third overall in 2021, Verstappen replied: "Yeah, I think it clicked quite well in qualifying – we made a few little adjustments and it seemed like that was a good step forwards.

"[It was just about] getting through the tyres, making sure that you would qualify on the medium in Q2 – because the gaps around here with all the other teams as well, are quite small.

"So it was not super easy to get through Q2 with that tyre. But we managed to do that.

"[I'm] Pretty pleased in Q3 – that first lap was pretty good.

"My second run was a little bit worse, just because I was the last one in the train, so my tyres I think were just a little bit too cold to start the lap.

"But nevertheless it was a good qualifying."

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen wants to "print out" proof rear wing led to Red Bull gains
Previous article

Verstappen wants to "print out" proof rear wing led to Red Bull gains

Next article

Tsunoda receives F1 grid drop for blocking Bottas in Styria Q3

Tsunoda receives F1 grid drop for blocking Bottas in Styria Q3
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022