This one was missing! – Verstappen savours 'incredible' first F1 pole
Max Verstappen described his first Formula One pole position as "incredible" and felt his Red Bull was "flying" as he achieved the feat at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Despite being a youthful 21, Verstappen had already racked up 92 grands prix and seven race victories coming into this weekend.
But the Dutchman was still waiting for his maiden pole and felt it was "missing" from his career before edging out Valtteri Bottas by just 0.018seconds in Saturday's thrilling qualifying session.
Now, Verstappen will bid for a third win in four races on Sunday, with Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and the two Ferraris close behind him on the grid.
"It's incredible," he said after a track record 1:14.572. "This one was still missing.
"The car felt good all weekend you know it's always going to be hard in qualifying but we managed to do it. A big thank you to the team, the car was flying and it was incredible.
"Very happy. There's still a race to do, and that's the most important thing, but it was an important one, a very nice one, a great one for the team.
"We worked really hard to improve the engine, to get a bit more out of it in qualifying, that showed again that we were able to push it a bit more – but within the limits of not blowing up.
"Now people will stop asking me that question [about never getting a pole]! For me it never really mattered. I knew it was a matter of time.
"You need a bit of luck sometimes, of course I made mistakes myself to miss a pole position shot. Now we have got it."
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is running out of superlatives for Verstappen, who has finished in the top five of every race this season and racked up 20 consecutive points finishes – the best current run on the grid.
"The margins are so tight round here but Max was on fire in pretty much every section of the qualifying," said Horner.
"I was hoping the lap he did at the start of Q3 was quick enough. But then he had to improve. That last lap was stunning and he needed to nail the last corner as Valtteri was ahead at turn 13, but he did it.
"It's fantastic for him to get his first pole. We couldn't have done it without Honda. A great team effort. Everyone at Milton Keynes is doing a great job and that allows us to get on the front row here.
"Progress [with the car] is being made in all areas, the power unit and chassis are working well.
"We're not looking at the championship table, it's been a good few weeks for us and it would be nice to sign off for the summer break with a good result."