F1: Red Bull's Verstappen gets in shape for new season
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Max Verstappen has been left frustrated with Red Bull after he almost helped Lando Norris to pole position ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, thanks to the slipstream he gave his rival at the Red Bull Ring.
Verstappen managed to pull out pole position, but by the smallest of margins over the McLaren driver, with 0.048s splitting the pair.
The championship leader was left clearly unhappy during the post-qualifying interviews after being sent out at the front of the pack on his final run, meaning he didn’t benefit from the slipstream, but those behind him did.
As Verstappen crossed the line the Dutchman was heard saying: “We will never, ever do that again, to go as first” after taking the chequered flag.
His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase responded: “That was P1 but we’ll talk about it later.”
Speaking in the immediate aftermath, it was clear there would be conversations later on in the evening.
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“So, something to look into, but of course to be twice on pole nevertheless the years is very good.
“So yeah, hopefully you know we can finish it off tomorrow.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner however was heard congratulating his driver for his performance and after afterwards told Sky Sports F1 it’s just the nature of a driver to want extra from the team.
“With Max, he’s always looking for that little bit more,” Horner said. “I think he felt there was more in the car today.
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“He had a slight lock-up on the first run so we wanted to give him clean air for the last run. That meant he ended up at the front of the queue.
“When you’re at the front of the queue you’re creating the hole in the air. And that gave Lando just behind him a slight tow. That’s what he was frustrated about at the end there.
“Nonetheless a phenomenal performance and to have Checo up there as well ahead of the Mercedes is a great team result.”
Verstappen is looking to extend his 18-point lead over Lewis Hamilton tomorrow with the Mercedes driver starting fourth on the grid behind Norris and Sergio Perez.
George Russell meanwhile starts P9 on the grid, after an impressive performance in the Williams saw him through to the top 10 qualifying shoot-out on Saturday.
The race gets underway at 2pm on Sunday, with Red Bull leading Mercedes by 40 points in the team standings.
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