Max Verstappen expressed relief at capturing pole position for Formula 1’s Dutch Grand Prix having initially feared he’d erred at the first corner.
Verstappen made it three successive pole positions at Zandvoort during a session that began in wet conditions but dried sufficiently for slicks to be used in Q3.
Verstappen – who initially went out on Intermediates for the shootout before quickly taking on slicks – trailed McLaren pair Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri after the opening runs, after which there were red flags due to accidents for Logan Sargeant and Charles Leclerc.
As conditions improved the order evolved but Verstappen wound up on top spot by over half a second.
“I went into Turn 1 and I thought, that’s it, I braked way too late,” said Verstappen.
“So probably my Turn 1 wasn’t fantastic, but I think the rest of the lap was OK and I felt OK with the car.”
Verstappen went on to explain the complicated nature of the session due to the changing conditions.
“It was quite slippery out there, so it was easy to make a mistake or whatever – especially on the new tarmac, so sector one and three were quite slippery,” he said.
“And then we were getting close to Q3 and it was drying out, so I initially didn’t think it would be dry enough but with the wind around here and the sun coming out it dried faster than I expected.
“I went out on the inter and quickly realised it was dryer than I expected and that was the wrong tyre. So we boxed and put the slicks on and that was unfortunate because there was the red flag.
“But it was still very tricky conditions in Turn 1 and 2 at the time, with just one proper dry line, so it was easy to make a mistake.
“Then of course we had a bit of a delay and Charles had his moment, so at one point the dry line was becoming a bit wider and that helped a bit. So you still had to get out of your comfort zone a bit on that final lap because it’s still not dry everywhere, but luckily the lap was good.”