Max Verstappen has hailed third place on the grid for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix as an “amazing” result for Red Bull.

Verstappen recovered from a big crash during Friday practice to qualify third for Red Bull’s home race in Spielberg, as he ended up just 0.436s adrift of polesitter Charles Leclerc.

The Dutchman’s appearance on the second-row was partly aided by an issue that prevented Sebastian Vettel from taking part in Q3, but he was still able to split the Mercedes drivers.

“I’m actually really, this is an amazing result at a track that is not easy for us,” Verstappen said.

“I think just in general the whole weekend, our performance has been much better.

“I was really happy with the car throughout qualifying and in the corners as well we were very competitive.

“We do know that we are lacking quite a bit of pace compared to Ferrari and Mercedes on the straights but knowing that this is not a great track for us, so a great result for qualifying.”

Verstappen expected to struggle and admitted he had not been looking forward to qualifying, but praised Red Bull for introducing some small performance updates, which he felt were key to his strong showing.

“I was actually not looking forward to qualifying because I knew that it was going to be hard but actually with the updates we brought to the car we had really good performance,” he explained.

“I think the things we brought, they just gave me more grip in general. I didn’t really have a big problem before with a lot of oversteer or understeer, just not a lot of overall grip. I think that seems to be improved again and that’s very positive.”

 

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