‘Please SPEED UP!’: Max Verstappen reveals desperate plea moments for F1’s first-ever Sprint qualifying after Red Bull drivers’ brakes caught fire – but he put on a red-hot display to secure pole
- Max Verstappen admitted he was ‘really concerned’ his brakes would catch fire
- The Red Bull star’s car overheats on the Sprint starting grid
- However, Verstappen avoided a crisis and kept a cool head to overtake Lewis Hamilton
- The Dutchman will start the British Grand Prix on pole at Silverstone on Sunday
Max Verstappen was ‘really concerned’ that his first-ever sprint at Silverstone was over before it started after his brakes overheated and caught fire on the starting grid.
With track temperatures reaching 47°C, it was a tough test for Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who started first but finished second, to keep the brakes cool as the grid at the back filled up.
Verstappen soon caught a glimpse of fans animatedly photographing his car from the stands, horrified at the flames engulfing his left front tire.
Max Verstappen admits he was ‘really concerned’ his brakes would catch fire at Silverstone
The 23-year-old’s left front brake caught fire just before the start of the very first Sprint
“I was really worried,” said the Red Bull driver.
“A little bit of fire is OK, but at some point it got pretty big and I looked in my mirror at the cars in the back of ‘please speed up!’
“Of course I wasn’t sure if I would go into Turn 3 or if my brakes would work, but luckily it didn’t do too much damage.
“I saw some people in the stands taking pictures when the brakes were on fire. They certainly made some good shots there.’
However, Verstappen kept his composure to send Lewis Hamilton to pole for the British Grand Prix
In the end, Verstappen was able to brush it off with a wry smile after delivering another red-hot performance dominating Hamilton and claiming pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Red Bull is so hot right now that Verstappen is looking for his fifth race win of the last six Grand Prix weekends.
A miserable Hamilton seemed unconcerned when asked what Saturday’s 30-minute Sprint, a first of its kind in Formula 1, suggests ahead of Sunday’s race.
“We can’t catch up with them,” he said. “They’re too fast.”
The Red Bull star leads the championship and hopes to triumph on his rival’s home field
But Verstappen rightly avoided the ace of hubris and predicted a ‘very tough fight’ with a 140,000-strong home crowd to give Hamilton a lead.
“I think we learned today that the weather is very close,” the Dutchman added.
“It’s a bit different because it seems we are fast in the corners and they are fast on the straights this weekend. Of course after just one free practice session and you can’t make any changes and so if you don’t do it right you are kind of stuck. So we’re a bit stuck on the straights.
“I still expect that with one pit stop coming into play, two pit stops coming into play, it’s going to be a good fight.”