Horner blames Leclerc spin as Verstappen is beaten to pole for British GP

Red Bull boss Christian Horner felt a spin by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc cost Max Verstappen pole position at the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen dominated FP3 earlier in the day and looked set to take pole at a saturated Silverstone. However, the Dutchman looked ragged in Q3, having a spin exiting Stowe and going off at the circuit at Vale on another fast lap.

The world champion still had the chance to take pole, but his final push lap was ruined when he had to slow slightly for yellow flags, triggered by a spin from Leclerc, who ended up third on the grid, with the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez fourth. Horner felt the incident cost Verstappen a few tenths of a second, with Sainz taking pole by less than one tenth.

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“Max lifted for the yellow and gave up about three or four tenths for it,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “But look, congratulations for Carlos, he’s always been demon in the wet. When he was a junior for us, he was always very strong in these conditions. We’re pleased to be on the front row and we’ve got Checo [Perez] up there as well.”

Meanwhile, Verstappen said: “It was quite a tricky qualifying with the rain. You had to be on the track at the right time. I think overall the car was working really well.

“In Q3 it's always a bit of a lottery when you have to put the fast lap in. I got caught with the yellow flag at the end of my lap, unfortunately, but I think still to be on the front row is still good for us and we have a good race car in the dry and the wet.”

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Leclerc was left disappointed in himself following his last-lap error and not to have secured another position pole, but congratulated his teammate on the first of his career.

“I am [disappointed] but happy for Carlos, he did a great job today,” said the Monegasque. “I spun on that last lap, I knew it was the lap where I had to put everything together and I didn’t as a driver, so I didn’t deserve to be on pole.

“P3 is still a good position to start in for tomorrow’s race and hopefully we can put everything together and come back.”


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