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Formula 1

Verstappen hangs on to Dutch GP pole by 0.038s from Hamilton

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
7 min read

Max Verstappen has claimed pole position for his home Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, beating Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton to top qualifying by just 0.038s.

After a cautious run in Q1, Verstappen ramped up the pace in Q2 and took it a step further in the final part of qualifying to set a 1m08.885s to take his seventh pole position of the 2021 season.

Valtteri Bottas was ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Hamilton before the final run, but Hamilton found three tenths on his final lap to jump Bottas and come within half a tenth of Verstappen’s benchmark.

Bottas was forced to settle for third place ahead of Pierre Gasly, who matched his season-best fourth place in Baku for AlphaTauri.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were one-two in Q1 but qualified in fifth and sixth place for Ferrari respectively, while Antonio Giovinazzi delivered a career-best seventh place for Alfa Romeo amid rampant speculation about his future.

The top 10 was rounded out by the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, and the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo.

George Russell was unable to match his Belgian GP qualifying heroics as he spun into the gravel at the Turn 13 right-hander in Q2.

His Williams made contact with the barrier but Russell managed to keep his car running and got back onto the track. He got back to the pits but the damage he sustained meant he took no further part in the session.

Before he could do so, the red flag had been flown and the session was briefly suspended.

When it resumed, his team-mate Nicholas Latifi blew his best chance to out-qualify Russell for the first time, as he dipped a wheel on the grass and lost control of his car, slamming into the barriers at the Turn 8 right-hander.

With one minute on the clock, the session was prematurely ended, and Russell was knocked out in 11th and Latifi 14th.

In-between the Williams duo was Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Lando Norris who struggled to his first Q2 exit of the season in 13th place ahead of Latifi and F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda.

Sergio Perez was dumped out of Q1 for the first time as a Red Bull driver, when he failed to make it to the chequered flag in time to start his final flying lap.

He blamed the slowness of his rivals ahead of him, but 16th place marks the worst qualifying result for a Red Bull driver since Alex Albon crashed out of Q1 at the 2019 Russian Grand Prix.

Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel was another surprise Q1 drop-out as he was met with both Haas drivers running side-by-side in his path as he approached the final banked corner.

The stewards will investigate Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Vettel after the session.

In his first F1 qualifying since the 2019 Abu Dhabi GP, Robert Kubica qualified in 18th place but was some 1.251s slower than Giovinazzi.

Schumacher was half a second faster than Mazepin and they will once again share the back row of the grid.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m10.036s 1m09.071s 1m08.885s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.114s 1m09.726s 1m08.923s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m10.219s 1m09.769s 1m09.222s
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m10.274s 1m09.541s 1m09.478s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m09.829s 1m09.437s 1m09.527s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m10.022s 1m09.87s 1m09.537s
7 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m10.05s 1m10.033s 1m09.59s
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m10.179s 1m09.919s 1m09.933s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m10.435s 1m10.02s 1m09.956s
10 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.255s 1m09.865s 1m10.166s
11 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m10.382s 1m10.332s
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m10.438s 1m10.367s
13 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.489s 1m10.406s
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m10.093s 1m11.161s
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1m10.462s 1m11.314s
16 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 1m10.53s
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m10.731s
18 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m11.301s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m11.387s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1m11.875s
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