F1 2021
Round 9

Verstappen Takes A Third POLE In A Row, In Austria #F1

at Red Bull Ring

It’s three Honda-powered pole positions in a row for the first time since 1991 as Max made it a hat-trick for himself at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen Takes A Third POLE In A Row, In Austria #F1

In an extremely strong session for both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, we have all four cars in the top seven - including two in the top three - ready to mount a strong challenge for the win and a big haul of points on Sunday.

Championship-leader Max set the pace in the first part of qualifying, while Sergio was eighth as he safely made it through as well. Pierre had his first lap time deleted in Q1, but recovered to comfortably advance in ninth, while Yuki was through in 14th, as the gap of just 0.134s to Sergio showed how close the field was on the short lap. 

The second part of qualifying was extremely tense but saw all four drivers deliver excellent performances to match last Saturday’s result of having all of the cars reach Q3. Max was again quickest and will start on the mediums, while Sergio matched his team mate by also using the medium compound to advance.

For the Scuderia AlphaTauri pair, Pierre was fourth quickest and Yuki eighth in Q2, both using the soft tyre for their best laps and so starting the race on the softer compound tomorrow. 

The first runs in Q3 saw Max secure provisional pole position and although he failed to improve on his second run it was a similar story to a week ago when nobody could beat his benchmark. Lando Norris came close and splits the two Red Bulls, with Sergio an impressive third.

Pierre and Yuki were both closely matched in the final part of qualifying and will start from sixth and seventh. While Pierre’s lap was within 0.1s of the two Mercedes drivers ahead of him, Yuki secured the best qualifying result of his rookie season so far.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
Today was another great display from Max, who took his third consecutive pole position, while his team-mate Checo’s strong performance to take third place puts us in a encouraging position for tomorrow’s race. Pierre is driving very consistently and for the third race in a row, he has qualified sixth, while Yuki secured his best ever F1 qualifying result, seventh fastest this afternoon, so all four of our drivers are well placed at Red Bull’s home track. Overall, a very good day for Honda and our two teams. There could be bad weather at some point during the race and we will prepare for any eventuality, ready to make the most of our excellent grid positions.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing Honda
Q1 and Q2 were very good and comfortable but I was not entirely happy in Q3 as my laps weren't amazing. I’m of course happy to be on pole, especially at the Red Bull Ring again, and having three poles in a row is great for the Team. But I cannot be entirely happy as I always want to be perfect and I always want to analyse what went well and what went wrong. Maybe that is how I grew up but I also believe that is how you keep improving. Now I’m just looking forward to tomorrow as we have a good race car and of course with Checo being third as well it is great for the Team and hopefully we can push together and score a lot of points. It was also an amazing lap by Lando and they have been quite close this weekend but I don’t expect them to be our main rivals in the race tomorrow. I’m very pleased with the whole package, the car and engine together have been working so well over the last few races, so we have good confidence for tomorrow but for sure it's never easy and it’s softer compounds compared to last week so it will be tough to manage those in the race and we still have strong competition. It was also amazing to see the orange army back in the grandstands. It has been a long time and they are so happy to be here cheering us on which I love to see.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing Honda
I’m happy, it’s a very good result for the Team here at our home track in Austria. Max and I are in a good starting position and hopefully we can get a good start off the line tomorrow, that will be critical. Overall, it’s been a really hard weekend up until now, we’ve been chasing a lot of balance, exploring the car in all areas and just chipping away at it in every single run. I’m starting on the mediums but it’s going to be a race where one or two pit stops is unknown, no one has had enough of a long run yet so it’s hard to tell. In the end we got a good lap today and it didn’t come easy, anything can happen tomorrow and I believe we have a better race car than quali so I hope that we can bring home some solid points for the Team. Congratulations to Lando too, he did a very strong lap today.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
It feels like every weekend we’re Qualifying in a similar position and I’m really happy with that, sixth is another strong performance for us, so today is a good day. I haven’t been as comfortable in the car this weekend for some reason, so going into Quali we had a bit of an unknown, which is why I’m really pleased we managed to make it work this afternoon. We’re the first cars starting on Softs tomorrow, so strategy will definitely be key in the race. We’ve shown that the car has the pace though, so I’m feeling confident.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
I’m really happy with today’s performance, it’s my best Qualifying so far. I want to say a big thank you to the team, who have maintained the pace from last week and managed to put it all together when it counted the most. My final lap was pretty good, even though I didn’t get a slip stream, so I’ve got to be pleased with that. It’s been really helpful for my learning to be here in Austria for two races in a row, it’s allowed me to build up my confidence and I think that shows in my performance today. Tomorrow is key, I don’t know what the conditions will be like during the race, but tyre management will be crucial to scoring points, which is what I’m aiming for.

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