Max Verstappen says he won't ponder over whether missing FP3 prevented him from claiming a historic pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix as he nonetheless notched up another 'youngest' record by qualifying second at Spa.
Already the youngest driver to win an F1 race, by qualifying second behind Nico Rosberg at Spa-Francorchamps 18 year-old Verstappen becomes the youngest driver to secure a front row start since Ricardo Rodriguez achieved the feat in the 1961 Italian Grand Prix aged 19.
Though the front row was always considered up for grabs in the absence of the penalised Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen nonetheless almost made it pole position after getting to within two tenths of Rosberg with his first flyer.
RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Coming despite failing to get out at all in FP3 following technical issues, Verstappen was thrilled to delight the large Dutch contingent that have travelled across the border.
“You can always do a better job but I think also Nico could have done a better lap, it's always when you put everything together but I think in the end to be so close to them on a track with some long straights, we can be very pleased with that.
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“The whole weekend has been very smooth, even though I had some issues this morning but from there on, the mechanics did a great job and in qualifying the car was working really well as you could see in sector two, so I'm very pleased to be second here in front of my fans, it's just a great motivation when you see them next to the track.”
Even so, Verstappen refused to blame his FP3 absence as making the difference for pole position, saying he isn't convinced it made a difference.
“It's always very difficult to say [if it made a difference]. I think it just gives you a better reference straight away but on the other hand we should be on our limits quite easily and I think after one run in qualifying it was there again so maybe, maybe not.”
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