Verstappen chooses a different strategy than Hamilton: ‘I felt good on both tires’

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Max Verstappen is feeling very good after taking pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver managed to outrun his competitor Lewis Hamilton, partly thanks to a tow from Sergio Perez. That ensured that the Mercedes driver was unable to set a faster time than Verstappen already did. With that, the first punch has been handed out by Red Bull to Mercedes for the race.

“It is of course a great feeling,” Verstappen begins after qualifying. “I think we’ve managed to improve that car in qualifying because it’s been very hit and miss so far this weekend. Really very happy with this pole, because of course this is what we wanted. But it is not easy with the form Mercedes has had in recent races. Now look ahead to the race, because that’s the most important.’

‘I felt good on both tires’

His direct competitor, Hamilton, will start on the mediums, while Verstappen will start the race on the softs. “I felt good on both tires,” explains the Dutchman. ‘Of course it’s a lot colder in the evening, so it’s a bit easier for the softs. But we’ll see in the race, because it’s also important to have a good start. From then on we can only do our best in the race. We’ll see if it’s going to be enough.’

Before qualifying, Verstappen felt no pressure to take pole position for the most important race of his career, namely the World Cup. “I went into qualifying very relaxed. I always do the best I can and I know that my team always gives me the best car possible. We’ve been doing that all year and it worked very well again during qualifying’, concludes Verstappen.

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