The Red Bull driver beat main F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to pole at Paul Ricard by 0.258s with a sensational lap to top qualifying for the first time since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Verstappen generally looked the pace-setter all weekend having topped FP2 and FP3 but said changes made in second practice ultimately helped him to unlock more potential from his RB16B.

“So far it’s been a really positive weekend on a track where normally it’s been a bit difficult for us,” Verstappen said.

“I think yesterday, FP2 was a bit of a turnaround and just made it even better today so, of course, to get pole position was really nice.

“Of course no points are scored today, but for us it’s been a great day and of course we have to finish it off tomorrow and try and get the 25 points we lost in Baku.

“But yeah, it’s great promise from our side and I hope that we can keep it up.”

The Dutchman, who holds a four-point championship lead over Hamilton heading into Sunday’s race, explained how the tweaks aided him on his way to sealing Red Bull’s first-ever pole in France.

“I think from yesterday, FP2, we made a good step forward, and basically that continued today,” he explained.

“Most of the time we are quite happy starting a weekend but you still improve and change things on the car.

“FP1 I wasn’t entirely happy so we made quite a few changes and it was immediately a lot better, but sometimes it is about preparation as well before you get here.”