Max Verstappen is delighted with his qualifying efforts in Abu Dhabi, greatly anticipating the season finale tomorrow.
Verstappen beat championship rival Lewis Hamilton to pole position by around 3 tenths of a second. It was a strong lap from the Dutchman that gave him the edge going into the title decider on Sunday. Verstappen was thrilled with the lap and expressed this in his post-session interview.
“It’s of course an amazing feeling [to get the pole position],” said Verstappen. “I think we definitely improved the car again in qualifying because so far this weekend it was a bit on and off. Incredibly happy with this. I mean, this is of course what we wanted, but it was never easy, especially with their [Mercedes’] form the last few races. I’m just looking forward to tomorrow because that’s of course the most important.”
During Q2, Verstappen used soft tires to secure that compound for the start of the race. Hamilton, meanwhile, ran the medium tire set at the conclusion of Q2. The title rivals will start tomorrow’s showdown on opposing strategies.
“I felt good on both tires [soft and medium],” Verstappen commented in regards to this strategy decision. “Of course, naturally in the evening it’s a bit cooler, so it should be a bit easier for the soft tires, but we’ll see tomorrow. Of course, it’s very important to have a good start and from there onwards, we just try to do our race to the very best and we’ll see where we end up.”
Verstappen is under immense pressure this weekend, going up against the 7-time world champion for one more intense race. Despite this, Verstappen refused to let any pressure reach him.
“I was very relaxed going into qualifying,” the 24-year-old remarked. “I know I always do the best I can and I know my team always gives me the best possible car. And we’ve already been doing that the whole year. Today it worked really well again.”