Van Buren was enjoying Verstappen: ‘The fact that you catch him like that is very cool’

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Van Buren was enjoying Verstappen: 'The fact that you catch him like that is very cool'

Red Bull Racing simulator driver Rudy van Buren and former driver Giedo van der Garde saw Max Verstappen manage to take pole position again after a difficult start to qualifying. Van der Garde expects Ferrari to be closer, but he also knows that Verstappen will disappear on the horizon if he is feeling good after the start.

Red Bull still had to figure out the balance at the start of qualifying. The RB20 did not run completely in line, and Verstappen mainly complained about understeer on the on-board radio. It therefore seemed for a while that they had not been able to take pole position, but they still managed to do it in Q3. ‘It just shows. Don’t vote against Max’, Van Buren begins in the Viaplay review. ‘Neither of us expected it. The balance may have gone to him, but this is very cool,” he continues. ‘I can enjoy this. That’s how you grab it anyway.’

Van der Garde agrees with his Viaplay colleague. “A super lap, then you see how strong he is,” says the former driver. ‘And how he ties such a round together, without mistakes. Incredibly good.’ It became even more exciting in the final phase of qualifying because Carlos Sainz challenged the Austrian team and Verstappen suffered from an imbalance. “We heard throughout the session, especially at the start: dude, we can’t get the right front left up to temperature,” Van Buren continues. ‘And then you can’t adjust that much, so you start doing things on the front wing and certain adjustments on the steering wheel.’

Text continues below the photo.

Van Buren was enjoying Verstappen: 'The fact that you catch him like that is very cool'
Verstappen said he unexpectedly took his 35th pole. (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also indicated afterwards that plenty of things were being changed on the front wing. “We have of course said before: Max is fast, but Max with understeer is not the Max Max, so to speak,” the Red Bull simulator driver points out. ‘But then the balance shifts to him, and then you see those masterful rounds.’ Van der Garde also noted that Verstappen had been struggling with understeer all weekend. ‘That is very difficult, but if the car starts working right away, it will achieve a super good lap.’

Van der Garde jokes about Sainz’s appendix: “They should have taken that thing out sooner!”

While the gentlemen at Viaplay were impressed by Verstappen’s pole lap, they also want to praise Sainz. The Madrilenian was still in bed a week ago to recover from his appendicitis operation, and then took P2 during qualifying in Melbourne. “He was a bit searching during FP1,” Van der Garde continues. ‘And now he is in front of Leclerc. I think he had a very good weekend. We saw few errors. He went all out and that’s nice to see,” said the former driver.

Teammate Charles Leclerc took the fifth fastest time. “You have just come out of such an operation, you are missing an appendix, you also see that he is not completely fit yet,” Van der Garde continues. “They should have taken that thing out sooner, because it goes fast!” the Dutchman laughs. ‘I think Ferrari will be a bit closer to Red Bull here. You also saw in the long runs that they were doing well. But you also know Max, if he has a good start, he can manage those tires and then he drives away.’

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