Verstappen’s front brakes caught fire just before the start of the sprint race but it didn’t ultimately halt his charge, as he stormed past title rival Lewis Hamilton into the lead.

The Dutchman controlled the sprint race from the front to secure his first-ever pole position for the British Grand Prix.

“I was really worried,” Verstappen said. “A little bit of fire is OK but at one point it was becoming quite big and I was just looking in my mirror to the guys at the back, I was like please speed up, speed up.

“I was not sure going into Turn 3 that my brakes were going to work but luckily it didn’t do too much damage.”

After complaining of understeer during qualifying as he lost out to Hamilton by just under a tenth, Verstappen was more content with the handling of his Red Bull at Silverstone.

“I think what was nice in the beginning is that you start with lower fuel in this race so naturally the cars are faster and that’s what you like - the car is a bit more alive, so that was fun compared to a heavy car and everything, it’s just slow in the beginning so I enjoyed that bit for sure,” Verstappen added.

“The understeer was gone but of course naturally you’re not going as fast through the corners as in qualifying so I guess that helps.”

The current championship leader dismissed any suggestions that he wasn't pushing in the race, evidenced by his blistered front tyres.

“I was pushing,” Verstappen explained. “You could see that. Also, my tyres were blistered. I guess we will find out tomorrow during the race how competitive we’re going to be because fuel loads are different, the car will be moving around a bit more. We will find out.”