Max Verstappen termed his qualifying session as “messy” after overcoming a reliability scare to win the pole position in Abu Dhabi.

The reigning world champion led a Red Bull one-two at the Yas Marina Circuit after securing his seventh pole position of the year. But the session was everything but easy; at the outset of the last session, Verstappen’s Red Bull required a complete system reboot.

“It was a bit of an up-and-down qualifying,” said Verstappen. “It started off quite well but Q2 was a little bit messier. I don’t know why but with that tyre set I just couldn’t get the grip together but then in Q3 it all felt a bit more normal and we had a bit of a scare – the car turned off before the first run so we had to reboot everything.”

“Then we went out and both of the laps were good enough so I’m very pleased with that but I’m also very happy that both cars are on the front row because we know that we want to win the race but we also want to finish second with Checo in the championship.”

“That’s definitely a great start for tomorrow.”

Red Bull’s main goal is to give the team a first-place finish in the drivers’ standings. Verstappen noted that Sergio Perez is starting the race level with Charles Leclerc but that the circumstances are ideal for him to support his teammate even more.

“It always sounds great,” Verstappen added. “For sure today was amazing. I still expect it to be a good battle tomorrow but at least we have both cars there and we can do what we want.”

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