Horner: Verstappen could have gone faster for Dutch GP pole

Max Verstappen could have taken Dutch GP pole by ‘more than a tenth’, claims Red Bull boss Christian Horner after revealing he suffered a DRS failure on his lap

  • Max Verstappen took Dutch GP pole by just three hundredths of a second
  • But team boss Christian Horner revealed he lost time after a minor car failure
  • Lewis Hamilton was booed by home fans and will line up second on the grid
  • Title rivals will go head-to-head from the front for first time since British GP
  • At Silverstone, the pair collided on the first lap while battling for the lead 

Christian Horner claims Max Verstappen could have gone even faster after narrowly pipping title rival Lewis Hamilton to pole position following a thrilling qualifying session for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen snatched pole ahead of his chief title rival by just three hundredths of a second at Zandvoort, much to the delight of the 70,000 fans cheering on their compatriot.

But from out of nowhere in the final sector, Hamilton nearly stunned the crowd by improving to just miss out on pole by a very fractional margin.

Max Verstappen snatched pole position at the Dutch Grand Prix to the delight of home fans

Verstappen’s rear wing on his Red Bull cost him time after failing to stall on the final straight

Team boss Christian Horner (left) revealed the minor failure to the Red bull’s DRS system cost Verstappen at least a tenth of a second during his final qualifying run

It was revealed that Verstappen’s DRS system, which stalls the rear wing and improves straight line speed, failed to deploy on the run to the finish line, which Red Bull team boss Christian Horner claimed cost him nearly over a tenth of second.

Horner told Sky Sports: ‘We saw we lost a lot of speed heading down the straight and it looks like the DRS hasn’t opened properly so he’s probably given away a tenth to a  tenth-and-a-half.

‘But it was an amazing performance from him under massive pressure so we are really happy with that.’

Verstappen will be lining up on the front row alongside Hamilton for the first time since the British Grand Prix, where the two infamously collided while battling for the lead on the opening lap.

A huge majority of the 70,000 supporters will be cheering on the Dutchman on race day

Horner believes even considering Verstappen’s car issues that he put in an ‘amazing lap’

Both drivers will be desperate to again gain a first lap advantage, with Verstappen, who also suffered with a double up-shift in gears on his pole lap to cost him time, admitting overtaking will be very difficult around the tight and twisty track. 

‘It is of course the best position[starting from pole]’, Verstappen said after the session.

‘We know passing is difficult, a lot of laps around here, the tyres are struggling around the high-speed corners but I hope we can finish it off tomorrow.’

Hamilton was jeered by sections of the partisan crowd, who were largely dressed in oranage, as the pantomime villain in his role as Verstappen’s chief title rival, but admitted he enjoyed the atmosphere and was looking to take the race to the Red Bull star on Sunday. 

Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton sportingly greet each other following the end of the session

Hamilton will be looking to take the fight alongside Verstappen on the front row at Zandvoort

Hamilton was booed by sections of the Dutch fans as the biggest threat to their local hero

‘I want to say a big thank you to all the orange fans here, the Dutch fans. What an amazing venue and track. I really love coming to this country,’ Hamilton said.

‘Max did an amazing lap and I was so close to catching him. With yesterday’s session missed, it made it difficult, but I did my best.

‘It’s a difficult circuit to overtake [on], but what a place to be racing. We haven’t seen a crowd like this in a while. It is great to see so many people here and I hope we can put on a great race. It is a very tough circuit, which is what makes it so fantastic to drive.’

Hamilton leads the world championship by just three points heading into the race at Zandvoort. 

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