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Max Verstappen

Verstappen concedes pole lap 'unexpected'

Max Verstappen will take the start of the Australian Grand Prix from pole position after beating Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to the top spot.

Verstappen Australia
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has acknowledged that Ferrari may provide Red Bull with a challenge during the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Red Bull has dominated the opening two rounds of the 2024 season with Verstappen taking pole position and victory in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively.

Verstappen's strong form continued on Saturday at Albert Park as the Dutchman bested his rivals to his third straight pole position this year.

Carlos Sainz was second fastest for Ferrari and will share the front row for the start of the Grand Prix.

Reflecting on his qualifying effort, Verstappen said: “It was a bit unexpected today in qualifying, but I'm very happy with Q3.

“Both of those laps, they felt very nice, that was enjoyable.

“It was a bit of a tricky weekend so far. But you know, we managed to be there at the end so I'm very happy with that.”

With Sainz starting on the front row, he will have teammate Charles Leclerc behind him as the Monegasque driver ended the session in fifth.

Leclerc abandoned his final hot lap after struggling with the car throughout his effort.

However, the 26-year-old may take comfort in his long-run pace on Friday comparing strongly to Red Bulls.

Looking ahead to the race, Verstappen admitted that Ferrari's pace is keeping Red Bull on its toes.

“They seem very quick, also in the long run so [it's] a bit of a question mark for tomorrow,” Verstappen said.

“But I guess that makes it very exciting. So we'll we'll find out tomorrow.”

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