Max secures the 82nd pole position for a Honda-powered car in Formula 1
Circuit Paul Ricard
Honda Racing F1
With Max taking his and the team’s second pole of the year, after the one at the season-opener in Bahrain and having three Honda powered cars in the top six, the result of today’s qualifying for the French Grand Prix was very good for us. Max had already been quickest in FP2 and 3 and made no mistakes in qualifying, and to be 0.258 seconds ahead of the second placed driver is an exceptional performance. Sergio secured fourth place with a time that is very close to that of the third placed driver. Having both Red Bull Racing Honda’s sharing the front two rows with the two Mercedes is also important in terms of tomorrow’s race strategy. In his home Grand Prix, for Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, Pierre made progress through all the sessions and he is also in a strong position, sixth behind Perez. He has done an excellent job recently, this being the third consecutive time he has qualified in the top six. He has shown consistent race pace all season and so we can expect him to move up the order tomorrow. Yuki had a disappointing qualifying, crashing out right at the start of Q1. But in free practice, he has been quick, he knows this track and so he can have a solid race and most importantly for him, finish the race. Overall, it is very satisfying to take pole now that we are back at a permanent race track and just as we go into a series of three races on consecutive weekend. But tomorrow is what matters and anything can happen, so we will be simulating various scenarios tonight.
Red Bull Racing Honda
To be able to put it on pole here, on a track that has not been our favourite in terms of performance, is very promising and a big boost for the Team. We really did not expect it so I am of course very happy. Everything has been working really well all weekend and from today even compared to yesterday we made a good improvement through hard work and maximising set-up. I was confident after FP3 but you never really know where you are or what everyone else will bring in Qualifying, so we should be very happy with this performance so far. There is a long run to Turn 1 so we have to get a good start tomorrow and for sure they will be very close but our long run pace in FP2 looked good so I expect another tight battle.
A word from the other Honda drivers ................