Max Verstappen pole lap at Zandvoort required 'full risk'

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands -- Max Verstappen's pole position qualifying lap at Zandvoort required "full risk", according to the Dutch driver.

Verstappen took pole position at his home race for the second year in a row, beating Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to the top spot by 0.021s on his final attempt.

He said his tyre preparation on the outlap had not been ideal but that he managed to recover performance by taking bigger risks in the second sector of his final flying lap.

"The last run was a bit compromised with the out-lap because of just getting one extra car in front of me, then I had to slow down a bit too much in the first sector... so the tyres were not really switched on, then I managed to recover a bit in Sector 2 and that was just enough for pole," Verstappen said. "I knew that I was losing a bit of time there, so yes, just full risk, of course, in Q3."

The narrow margin at Zandvoort came just one week after Verstappen set the fastest time in qualifying by 0.7s at Spa-Francorchamps. He put the swing in relative performance compared to his rivals down to the circuit layout and necessary downforce settings.

"I think we have a complete car," Verstappen said. "You can see how quickly it changes though, because in Spa we were dominant, here it looked a bit tricky initially, and now it was very close in qualifying, so you can clearly see on higher downforce tracks, we seem to struggle a bit more to extract the best out of the car.

"But it's still a quick car and after last night you see that the whole factory and here at the track, we made the right choice with the car and how to make it fast. I think it will be close [in the race], but basically for most of the races this year it has been like that. And I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that we can have a good race."