The Red Bull driver hung on to beat title rival Lewis Hamilton to pole at Zandvoort by just 0.038s in a closely-fought qualifying session as he sent his home fans wild.

Verstappen improved marginally on his second run of Q3 but appeared not to use his DRS coming out of the final corner and onto the short blast along the start-finish straight.

The Dutchman admitted after qualifying that he was unaware his DRS was not activated and revealed he lost time through an accidental double shift coming out of Turn 3.

“Is that so? I don’t know,” Verstappen said when informed that his DRS flag was not open on the drag to the line.

“For me the problem started earlier out of Turn 3, it’s quite bumpy and I had a double shift. I was two-tenths up on my lap and then I lost like one-and-a-half tenths all the way to Turn 7.

“You also use more energy because you are a gear higher, I de-rated as well. I need to check because I was not aware my DRS was closed to the line.”


Asked for a rough idea of how much time the DRS issue could have been worth, Verstappen replied: "I need to see because I had no clue it was closed.

“Together with the double up shift, it’s not ideal, so there was definitely quite a bit more time in it. Luckily it was enough for pole.

“So yeah I’ll have a look at it, because I didn’t know.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said after qualifying that he believes Verstappen gave away at least a tenth of a second in lap time due to not having the DRS fully open.

“It looks like the DRS hasn’t opened properly, so he’s probably given away a tenth, a tenth and a half,” Horner told Sky Sports.

“But an amazing performance by him under massive pressure, so really happy with that.”

Nevertheless, Verstappen’s lap was good enough to secure his sixth pole in the last seven races and the 10th of his career. The Dutchman will regain the lead of the world championship from Hamilton if he wins on Sunday.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get pole position here,” he explained. “The crowd is incredible and today was also very enjoyable. The car was really nice to drive and this track as well in qualifying once the fuel comes out, it’s really cool

“It’s of course the best starting position as we know passing is difficult,” he added. “I am not expecting it to be an easy race.

“A lot of laps around here, the tyres are struggling through the high speed. Today was good so I hope we can finish it off tomorrow.”