Max Verstappen revealed he took pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after his car had to be “rebooted” at the start of the final phase of qualifying.
Both of Verstappen’s runs in Q3 were good enough to put him on pole position ahead of team mate Sergio Perez. However, he was initially delayed from leaving the garage due to a problem with his RB18.
Perez asked after his team when Verstappen failed join him when he headed to the track at the beginning of Q3. “What happened?” Perez asked his race engineer Hugo Bird. “Max’s car had a little problem,” he was told. “Still in the garage. Just getting going now. We’ll do our thing. You know your targets.”
Verstappen revealed his runs had been delayed by needing to restart his car. “We had a bit of a scare, they had the car turned off before the first run,” he said.
“So [we had] to reboot everything and then we went out and we have both of the laps are good enough, so of course very pleased with that.”
Afterwards Verstappen said he’d had an “up and down qualifying” session. “It started off quite well, Q2 was a bit more messy [with] the tyres, I just honestly couldn’t get the grip together. But then in Q3, it all felt a bit more normal.”
Following a less competitive outing for the team in Brazil, Red Bull will start the final race of the year from the front row.
“I’m very happy that both cars are on the front row because we know that of course we want to win the race but we also want to finish second with Checo in the championship,” said Verstappen. “So that’s definitely a great start for for tomorrow.”
Following the fall-out between Verstappen and Perez over team orders in Brazil, Verstappen called their performance “great teamwork” on the radio during his in-lap. He said he expects “a good battle tomorrow, but at least we have both cars there and we can do what we want.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and