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Christian Horner

Horner surprised after 'emotional' Verstappen pole

Max Verstappen recovered from a difficult Friday at Imola to storm to pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Horner Verstappen Imola
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner has expressed his surprise at Max Verstappen's reaction to snaring Emilia Romagna Grand Prix pole position. 

After a troubled Friday, Verstappen roared back to grab P1 on the Imola grid, pipping Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris by less than a tenth to record an eighth straight pole position, equalling Ayrton Senna's all-time record as he did so. 

Verstappen is not a driver known for showing emotion after pole positions or wins, but was over the radio when informed that he had earned a second Imola pole, something that surprised Horner.

"I mean, it is simply outstanding as we struggled yesterday," Horner told Viaplay. 

"The team did a really good job overnight, and back in the UK, Sebastien Buemi was on the simulator working into the very early hours this morning. 

"We've improved the car today, we saw that in FP3, and the engineering team did that again going into qualifying and then of course, Max had to deliver.

"And wow, he's really pulled it out of the bag and you could hear what it meant to him. 

"He doesn't often show that much emotion after a pole position, but that will mean a lot. 

"It is a big one for Max as it equals Senna's record of eight poles in a row, so it is a great name [to match] on a special weekend."

Looking to the race

After practice, it appeared that the fight for pole was going to be between Ferrari and McLaren, with Red Bull third best, before the turnaround in qualifying. 

Nevertheless, Horner still believes the race will be "hard."

"McLaren is quick, the Ferrari is quick so there are four cars that are going to challenging hard," he said.

"We will take nothing for granted. It will be very hard race, but we are starting in the best place possible."


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