Max Verstappen is ready to take on Mercedes as he starts from pole for the first time in his F1 career at the Hungarian GP, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton hoping to hunt the Red Bull down.

After three incredible F1 races in Austria, Great Britain and Silverstone - the Budapest event has all the ingredients to be another cracker with Verstappen entering uncharted territory on the grid, knowing that a third victory in fourth races will shoot him right into title contention with Bottas and Hamilton, who start just behind him.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who have been quickest on the straights all weekend, are fourth and fifth.

Verstappen is cautious but confident heading into the race. Red Bull are often quicker on a Sunday than on a Saturday - the in-form Dutchman's pole was only their fourth since winning their last title six years ago.

"Our car lately has been even better in the race, so I don't feel too worried," Verstappen said. "We just need to make sure we have a clean start and then anything is possible."

He added to Sky F1's Anthony Davidson in a SkyPad special: "[Pole] normally it makes your race a bit easier but the race points are on Sunday, and that's the most important thing.

"We know that, if you can start more upfront in the race, it all makes it a bit easier to control."
Verstappen, however, is vulnerable as the sole Red Bull at the top end of the grid - team-mate Pierre Gasly was only sixth - and has two hungry Mercedes drivers, eager to bounce back from a miserable Germany, in his mirrors.

source: skysports