Max Verstappen not overly confident of victory in Melbourne

Red Bull last secured pole position in Australia via Sebastian Vettel in 2011.

Max Verstappen has secured his first ever pole position around the Albert Park Circuit in Australia, recording an untouchable 1:16:732.

Qualifying in Australia had proved to be an exciting affair with multiple cars trading the top spot, as Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso all topped the time sheet at points.

However, it was the Dutchman who managed to come out on top during what he described as a “very tough” weekend. 

The biggest challenge for drivers was getting the tyres in the right window, with Verstappen ultimately leaving “very happy with the lap and very happy to be on pole position.”

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Despite Red Bull’s runaway success so far this season, Verstappen isn’t counting the points early, remaining cautious due to the tricky nature of getting the tyres into the right window around the circuit.

“Tomorrow, we’ll have a good race car. It’s quite tricky on the tyres to keep them alive, so going to be an interesting race for sure,” Verstappen said.

Despite reliability concerns swirling around Red Bull, Verstappen has played down the risk to their performance, claiming that the team will “fine tune” any issues before they head out on track

“I’ve been on the podium once but I want to be on a different step this time,” he added.

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Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez had a tougher session, as he was forced to retire in Q1 without recording a time when he beached his car in the gravel trap.

Bringing out the red flag early in the session, the Mexican had to abandon the car and ride back to the pits on a moped.

When asked what caused the incident, Perez refused to elaborate but it was speculated that it could have been due to a technical malfunction with the car, rather than a driver error.