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Max Verstappen dedicates pole to birthday boy Coulthard

Max Verstappen dedicates pole to birthday boy Coulthard

F1 News

Max Verstappen dedicates pole to birthday boy Coulthard

Max Verstappen dedicates pole to birthday boy Coulthard

Max Verstappen dedicated pole position in Bahrain to birthday boy and former Red Bull driver David Coulthard after out-pacing reigning champion Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

Red Bull driver Verstappen, who finally prevented Mercedes from taking pole at the season opener for the first time since the introduction of the hybrid era in 2014, made good on his favourite's tag despite damaging the floor of his car in Q1.

The 23-year-old, quickest in all three practice sessions and the trio of qualifying runs, set the fastest time in every single sector on his final lap. He said: “Luckily, where it mattered, we could perform.

“We already had a great test week and there are no guarantees but then we came back for the race weekend and the whole week the car has been working well and been enjoyable to drive."

Verstappen ultimately finished 0.388secs ahead of second-placed reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.

A thrilled Verstappen added: “With the wind changing around it's not easy to set up the car but it all worked out perfectly in qualifying, so I was very happy with pole position.

“My first lap in Q3 wasn’t amazing so I knew there was more in it, but you never know how much.

"Finally the balance was there and you can push a bit more. I am looking forward to [the race]. We have a good car and we want a good clean start and first lap.”

Couthard, who turned 50 on Saturday, was the post-race interviewer and Verstappen added: “It is, of course, a great start and a nice birthday present to you” before later thrusting a chocolate cake in his face.

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