The Dutchman secured his first-ever front-row starting spot in Barcelona - a venue Mercedes has dominated at in recent years - as he was pipped to pole by Lewis Hamilton by a margin of just 0.036s.

Given Mercedes’ remarkable record at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, Verstappen insisted he could take real satisfaction from his efforts in qualifying as he managed to put his car in-between Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’.

“I think second for us here on this track was very good today,” Verstappen said. “We know they are hard to beat around here, so, to be that close, I can be happy with that.

“I struggled a bit into Q1 but then we sorted out the balance for Q2, which was pretty good,” he added. “Then Q3, for me to be honest, both laps were pretty decent.

“Only the second lap was a little worse for whatever reason; it’s quite gusty here, so the wind changes a lot.”

And Verstappen is now turning his attentions to making a good start in his bid to put the pressure on championship leader Hamilton, with a 600-metre run down to Turn 1 facing the field.

“It’s a long run to turn one, but of course, first you have to make sure to have a good start,” he explained. “And it seems like the pace is there. So of course I hope that we can have a good race as well.

“Around here, with all the fast corners and tyres overheating, tyre management is very important. So we have to make sure that we are on top of that tomorrow.”

 

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