“There are no guarantees”- Max Verstappen became the first non-Mercedes driver to be on the pole on season-opening Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen has outshined Mercedes on the opening Grand Prix of the season as he displaces both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on the pole.
The Dutch driver had a tough outing at the beginning, where he received significant damage on the bottom of his car, yet he persevered and brought a crucial result for his team before the race day.
“Of course, we already had a great test week. There are no guarantees coming to the first race weekend, but the whole week so far, the car has been working really well, and it’s just been really enjoyable to drive,” said Verstappen to the Skysports.
“It all worked out perfectly in qualifying, so of course, I’m very happy with pole position,” he added. Verstappen is the first driver to be on the pole of an opening Grand Prix since 2013, and the last driver to do it was Sebastian Vettel in 2013.
Apart from that, Verstappen also took the pole in the last Grand Prix, but it took him 105 days to be on the pole again.
Mercedes sandbagging myth busted?
The biggest talking point before this race was whether Mercedes is sandbagging or not, and this was when Mercedes was supposed to drop their all sandbags.
Though Mercedes still looked in contention, it actually was outclassed by Verstappen’s Red Bull, and Sergio Perez also managed to bother them until he got eliminated in Q2.
Not to forget, Pierre Gasly also had an impressive performance, while Alpha Tauri overall looked fast, so it would be safe to say that Red Bull has managed to upgrade itself over the course of the off-season.
The season is still long, and the first race is yet to happen to be an interesting season for sure.