Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was all smiles after Max Verstappen's performance in qualifying which gave the team their first front row start in Spain in 10 years.
The Dutchman's accomplishment is no small feat given Mercedes have started on pole at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya every year since 2013. Verstappen came close to ending that streak, finishing just 0.036 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, with Horner pleased with how much progress Red Bull have made since last season.
"It was another very exciting qualifying and a fantastic performance by the team," Horner said via a Red Bull press release. "Our first front row start in Barcelona for 10 years and Max was once again so close to pole.
"Being on the front row is very encouraging and there are a lot of positives to take from today. Last year we were 0.7s off pole and this year Max has completed an almost identical lap time to Lewis, so it’s great progress."
Sergio Perez could only manage the eighth fastest time, revealing he's dealing with an injury that hampered his performance, though Horner believes he can make up for that on Sunday.
"Checo recovered after having a spin on his first lap in Q3 and will start in P8, but we know how strong he is in the race and despite it being a difficult track to overtake on I’m confident he will make good progress," Horner continued.
"It will be important to get a good start, the margins are so tight between us and Mercedes at the moment that the small things make a big difference, so the start and that run down to the first corner is going to be important and very exciting to watch."