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Max Verstappen

The data that shows where Norris won pole position

Max Verstappen was denied Spanish Grand Prix pole position by two hundredths of a second.

Verstappen Qualifying Spain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

For the first time since 2022, Max Verstappen has gone three races without starting on pole position, although he came incredibly close yet again in the Spanish Grand Prix. 

After the drama of setting the same lap time as George Russell in the Canadian Grand Prix, Verstappen was pipped to pole in Barcelona by Lando Norris, who went 0.020s faster. 

It was a sensational Q3 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Verstappen having lost pole simply due to being significantly slower than Norris in turn four.

"In the end we lost time to Lando Norris in turn four," Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko told Sky Sports DE. "In sectors one and three we were faster, so overall we chose the right direction."

It fits in with the picture of the entire weekend that Verstappen loses time, especially in the second sector. That sector starts at turn four and continues to the end of the short straight at the back of the circuit, which leads into turn 10. 

In the free practice sessions there were even times when Verstappen had to give up four tenths to his closest competitors. The long corners were the Achilles heel of the RB20.

Long corners the problem

Red Bull and Verstappen managed to reduce the gap in qualifying, but that was not enough for pole position. When the laps of Verstappen and Norris are compared, you see that the Red Bull driver is slightly faster in the first sector, but loses almost one and a half tenths in the second sector.

In the third sector, Verstappen took back a tenth, bringing the difference to two hundredths. Marko's statements were partly correct, because the onboard images and the data show that in addition to turn four, turn six is ​​also a crucial corner.

Norris took about six hundredths there, partly due to a poorer exit from Verstappen. That was about the same as in turn four, whilst Verstappen also had to give up some time in turn five.

So it is clear that Red Bull is still losing out in the long turns, and Norris could make the difference there. Verstappen braked later and entered the corner with more speed, yet Norris' exits were much better.

Verstappen came very close to pole position, especially due to a strong final corner. So little separated the Dutchman and Norris, will we also have such a great battle in the race?

View the lap time of Norris and Verstappen below!


S1 S2 S3 Lap Time
NOR 21.383 28.402 21.598 1:11.383
VER 21.369 28.541 21.493 1:11.403
Difference -0.014 +0.139 -0.105 +0.20

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying