While Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday’s traditional qualifying session at Silverstone, which decided the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, Verstappen’s sprint win means he is officially credited with pole position.
The FIA’s decision to grant pole to the sprint race winner, rather than the fastest driver from qualifying, has caused controversy among fans and drivers.
Verstappen himself is not completely happy about the situation, as he reckons pole in the history books should always go to the fastest driver over a single lap.
“It’s just a bit weird to hear that you’ve got pole position because you are racing,” he told Sky.
“Maybe we have to get used to that, I don’t know. But that was maybe the weird thing about it.
“I think still pole position should be deserved over one fast lap. That for me is a proper pole position.”
One of the most outspoken drivers regarding the official nomination of pole position coming from the sprint race has been Sebastian Vettel, who is one who especially likes the history of the sport.
Speaking after the sprint race, he doubled down on criticisms from earlier in the weekend about the decision not to credit pole to the fastest from qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“I think that’s wrong,” he said. “I think they should change that. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a new discipline, so award a new stat for it.”
F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn has conceded that the series may perhaps need to rethink the awarding of pole position based on the criticisms the choice has faced.
“Maybe that’s something we need to think about,” he said.
“If there’s some change in the nomenclature of what we’re doing, and should Friday be the pole position?
“It’s things like that that we will talk about and discuss with the FIA and the teams, but I think we can’t be held back by history. I mean, we need to respect history but we must never be held back by history.”