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F1 | Verstappen: "Pérez will be there, there will be a lot of action"

Verstappen achieved pole position with superiority in Mexico, but even so, he said that he does not see it easy to ‘nail’ a lap at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The Dutchman, already proclaimed world champion, will go out this Sunday in search of his 14th victory of the season, which would give him the absolute record, surpassing the mark set by Vettel and Schumacher for the greatest number of wins in the same year.

After trailing Lewis Hamilton in Q1 and Q2 and behind George Russell in that second round, he put more than three tenths on the Mercedes in the final Q3 to achieve his sixth pole position of 2022.

Verstappen knows that he will have to fight at the start against his rivals, on the long straight of the Mexican circuit where great slipstream overtaking is often seen: “Of course, there is a very long way to turn 1, so I will need a good start But anyway, I think we have a fast car, and that’s the most important thing.”

Although he will have the two Mercedes right behind him, Verstappen is confident that his teammate Sergio Pérez, fourth by more than three tenths and a half this Saturday, will be there to make the battle for victory more exciting: “Yes, Checo will be there tomorrow, I’m sure, we have a fast car. It will be quite a fun race, with a lot of action.”

“I think the race will be close. Normally the Mercedes also have a very good race pace. It depends on what we can do with the strategy, but we will analyze it tonight.”

Then, at the FIA press conference , the Red Bull driver analyzed his performance in qualifying: “It was a bit of a tricky start in qualifying because the track was a bit hotter than in FP3, so I think everyone They were skating a little more and it was a little harder to find the rhythm.”

“So it was really about learning from how the track changed from Q1 to Q2 to Q3, trying to find the balance in the car again. At the end of the session it got a bit better and I think in Q3 we were finally able to push. a bit more with the car and two good laps, I think.”

“Of course, I am very happy with those laps because here it is very difficult, at least for me, to nail the lap. There is very little grip and there are some curbs that you have to do perfectly to gain time.”

“So it’s certainly not the easiest qualifying or race. And same for warming up tyres. But it seems like in the third quarter we had the right picture.”

After setting a time of 1m17.947s on his first attempt in Q3, Verstappen improved to 1m17.775s on the lap that secured pole, his first at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez after missing the 2019 pole due to a penalty after passing by the yellow flags of Valtteri Bottas’s crashed Mercedes .

Asked by where he had improved between the two attempts, Verstappen replied: “Honestly I think everywhere I gained a little bit, it wasn’t like I made a mistake on my first lap.

“It was just a couple of corners where there was maybe a little evolution of the track as well.

Finally, he praised the Mexican fans: “It’s incredible. The passion of all the fans here, also the stadium area, is incredible. It’s incredible to drive here.”

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