Verstappen improves own lap to set home pole position at Zandvoort, Latifi crashes in the Q2

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas followed in 2nd and 3rd, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez being ousted in the Q1

By Yuri Coghe
Verstappen set a 1.08s885 lap time at Zandvoort on Saturday to claim a 10th career pole position (Photo: F1/Twitter)

A Dutch driver will start the first Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix in 36 years on pole position.

Max Verstappen improved his own lap late in the Q3 to go fastest at Zandvoort on Saturday. The Red Bull driver beat championship rival Lewis Hamilton by just 0s038 with a 1.08s885 lap time to guarantee his 10th career pole and the celebrations of the 70.000 local fans.

Verstappen has the chance of coming out on top of the drivers’ standings on Sunday if he turns the pole into a race win.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get pole position here,” said Verstappen. “The crowd is incredible. Today was good, I hope we can finish this off tomorrow.”

Hamilton set his fastest lap after Verstappen’s pole lap, managing to knock teammate Valtteri Bottas from the second position. The Finn finished the session in third.

“Max (Verstappen) did an amazing lap,” said Hamilton. “I was so close to catching him, I gave it everything. He deserves pole.”

“It’s definitely an enjoyable track with a nice atmosphere as well,” said Bottas. “Red Bull were a little bit out of reach today. We still have two cars in the top three so all to play for. I’m sure we’re gonna see an exciting race tomorrow.”

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Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Mexican Sergio Perez had a completely different outcome as he was ousted in the Q1. He’ll start the Dutch GP in 16th.

Former Red Bull man Pierre Gasly took his AlphaTauri to fourth place, ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr who were looking strong on Friday.

Antonio Giovinazzi equalled his career-best starting position achieved at the 2019 Austrian GP by qualifying seventh. The Italian, who was fourth in the Q2, is followed by the Alpines of Esteban Ocon, eighth, and Fernando Alonso, ninth.

Daniel Ricciardo, who saw teammate Lando Norris get knocked out in the Q2 to start in P13, rounded out the top 10.

Both Williams crash, cause red flags in Q2

Canadian Nicholas Latifi and George Russell were fifth and 11th in the Q1, both enjoying good performances and looking like they would carry the momentum of claiming back-to-back double points finishes for Williams.

In the Q2, however, Russell lost control of his car, crashed into the barriers and triggered a red flag. Latifi would go on to do the same once the session was restarted – this time bringing the Q2 to an end with roughly one minute and a half remaining.

Fellow Canadian Lance Stroll, 12th, and rookie Yuki Tsunoda, 15th, were also eliminated in the Q2.

Stroll’s Aston Martin teammate Sebastian Vettel only featured in the Q1. He’ll start Sunday’s race in P17, one position ahead of Robert Kubica of Poland, who is replacing Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo after the Finn tested positive for COVID-19 for his first qualifying action since December 2019.

The Haas duo of Mick Schumacher, 19th, and Nikita Mazepin, 20th, will start at the back of the grid.

The Dutch Grand Prix is set for Sunday at 9 AM EST, 6 AM Pacific Time. 

See the full qualifying results:

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