Verstappen predicts 'exciting' British GP battle vs. Hamilton after F1 Sprint win

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Max Verstappen expects an "exciting battle" with Lewis Hamilton after claiming pole position with victory in Formula 1's first-ever Sprint Qualifying at the British Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion thrilled Silverstone to set the quickest time in qualifying on Friday, but a poor start opened the door for the Dutchman to take the lead and ultimately, the win in the 17-lap event on Saturday.

While his victory looked straightforward, on the post-session parade lap, Verstappen admitted it was anything but on a hot day in the UK countryside.

“Around here it’s difficult to pass but we had a good start and a good fight with Lewis on the first lap and then we tried to do our own pace but you could see we were pushing each other hard," he said.

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“You could see at the end of the race the tyres were blistering a lot, so we had to manage that to the end. But nevertheless, happy to have scored those three points.

“It sounds a bit funny to then hear you scored a pole position, but anyway we will take it and I think it will be a really exciting battle tomorrow.”

Tyre performance was always expected to be crucial with the current Pirelli compounds not really designed to be pushed flat-out for so many laps.

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A more normal 52-lap Grand Prix on Sunday might be a different story though, but Verstappen does still have a concern.

“We started the race on lower fuel and then we really push these cars through the fast corners lap after lap so it is very hard on tyres but it’s the same for everyone so we have to deal with it," he explained.

“We are not allowed to touch the car. We are quick in corners, so that’s where we have to make sure we do the same tomorrow.

“The straight-line speed, that’s the thing, after FP1 you cannot make any changes so that’s a bit tricky for us now but we will have to deal with it. I sill think we can have a very strong race.”

The extra points for the Sprint Qualifying win see Max increase his lead to 33 points over Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.