Verstappen stormed to the top of the timesheets with a 1m03.841s - the only man to break into the 1m03s range during the weekend.

The Dutchman couldn’t improve on his second run but it remained untouched as Valtteri Bottas could only manage a 1m04.035s in second.

“It’s been a very good weekend,” Verstappen said. “Again in qualifying the car was really good to drive. It was not easy to deal with the traffic in the last few corners to get a clean run but I think that first lap in Q3 was good enough.

“In the end, I had a good first sector. Super happy to be on pole here at home, it’s always nice to see a Red Bull car first here.”

Verstappen blamed the traffic at the end of Q3 for not being able to improve on his final run, with the backing up of cars also affecting Lewis Hamilton in Q3.

“I think it clicked quite well in qualifying, we made a few little adjustments and it seemed like that was a good step forward,'' Verstappen explained. “So then it was getting through the tyres, making sure you’d qualify on the medium in Q2 because the gaps round here are quite small so it was not super easy to get through Q2 with that tyre.

“But we managed to do that and 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 were just a little bit too cold to start the lap, but nevertheless, it was a good qualifying.”

With Mercedes often faring better in race trim relative to qualifying, Verstappen is anticipating another tight battle like at Paul Ricard.

“I guess so, yeah,'' Verstappen added. “It seemed like in the long runs again we were closely matched. Of course, that’s yesterday, today was again a bit of a different day, so we’ll see tomorrow, but I expect it to be close again. Hopefully, it will also be an exciting one again.