Verstappen: Not finishing on the Belgian GP podium will be a “pity”

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The world champion was in sensational form at the Spa-Francorchamps weekend, despite knowing he was going into the race with a back-of-the-grid penalty for an engine change.

But that hasn’t hindered his pace, as the Red Bull driver eventually qualified by more than six-tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who will actually start from pole.

After praising the form of his Red Bull, Verstappen said he had big ambitions to get through the field in the race.

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“We have to move forward,” he said. “I think especially with a car like this it will be a shame not to be on the podium.”

Former F1 and Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx hands Red Bull Racing Max Verstappen the pole award

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen said Red Bull got off the ground in Belgium and was pleased with the way the RB18 handled.

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“It was a great qualifying, but I think we’ve been working on it all weekend,” he said.

“The car has worked very well and was just trying to fine-tune it. And it all came together in qualifying.

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“Of course you have to be a bit careful with the amount of tires I used, also looking forward to tomorrow, starting at the back, but yes, very happy with my lap and it’s great to be here.

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“It’s a great track, great fans around. I hope they had a nice day.”

Verstappen added: “Sometimes it’s a little easier to do a lap than at other tracks where if you have a small lock-up you have big lap losses. I would say it’s definitely one of the best [qualifying laps of my season].”

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