Verstappen’s Pole Position Triumph Despite Early Setback

    In a remarkable turnaround, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has secured pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint, despite facing an early setback during the weekend’s sole practice session.

    Verstappen was circulating the Red Bull Ring when he suddenly slowed to a halt on the pit straight, with his car being pushed back into the garage. However, the Dutchman would return to the track moments later, ultimately ending the session with the quickest lap time.

    Verstappen then went on to pip McLaren’s Lando Norris to the top spot in the Sprint Qualifying session, but Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has admitted that the team was fortunate with the circumstances.

    “We’re very happy to have achieved this pole position,” Marko told Servus TV. “In the first practice session, Max drove straight ahead in Turn 1 and unfortunately went over these humps with almost all four wheels and that disabled a sensor that indicates oil pressure, so theoretically there was no oil pressure.”

    Despite the early scare, Red Bull was able to quickly resolve the issue, allowing Verstappen to continue his session.

    “So of course you have to turn it off to save the engine, but then we had all the luck in the world that it happened right there at the front [of the pits],” Marko said. “That allowed [the car] to roll back, they were able to push it out, we deactivated the sensor and it continued โ€“ and we only lost maybe one or two laps.”

    Heading into the weekend, Marko had expressed concerns about Red Bull’s ability to remain the leading team with the Sprint format providing only one practice session. However, the team’s concerns were quickly alleviated as the RB20 emerged competitive enough from the outset to enable Verstappen to secure pole position.

    “This time the car was also good right from the start,” Marko beamed. “It’s no secret: the last few races we’ve had to do three practice sessions and qualifying to get the balance right. This time the car was in a good balance right from the start and then of course Max did the lap.”

    Verstappen’s pole position triumph, despite the early setback, underscores the team’s adaptability and Verstappen’s driving prowess. As the Dakar Rally heads into the weekend, fans will be eagerly anticipating Verstappen’s performance in the Sprint race and the main event on Sunday.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source