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Christian Horner

Horner: Verstappen 'the difference maker' in tight Saudi qualifying

Red Bull will start the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from first and third on the grid in Jeddah.

Horner Bahrain 2024 Verstappen Lambiase
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Christian Horner has pinpointed Max Verstappen's ability to make the difference as a reason he secured Saudi Arabian Grand Prix pole position.

In Q2 in Jeddah, Verstappen topped the segment by less than a tenth from Charles Leclerc's Ferrari but in Q3, his first lap was nearly eight-tenths clear of the Monegasque and a comfortable three-tenths up on the closest challenger, Sergio Perez in the sister RB20.

In the end, Verstappen earned pole by 0.319s over Leclerc with Perez and Fernando Alonso less than a tenth behind the Ferrari for his first pole in Jeddah and 34th overall of his career.

Reflecting Verstappen's achievement, Horner believes the Dutchman excelled at piecing together the final section of qualifying.

"I think it just comes from him," Horner explained to Viaplay of Verstappen's making the difference between a tight Q2 and comfortable pole.

"Q3 is the business end of qualifying and that's where he put everything together.

"His first lap was sensational, and it was good enough for pole in the end.

"There were two laps that were quick enough for pole position, the car is working well and it is great to have Checo in P3 as well, so a strong qualifying from him."

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